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article imageAnnie Leibovitz images saved by new loan deal

By Gemma Fox     Sep 11, 2009 in Entertainment
Photographer Annie Leibovitz, who was to be sued by Art Capital Group and an Italian photographer, has had a slight reprieve. She has been given an extension to the time she has to pay the loan back.
Ms Leibovitz originally had until September 8th to repay the $24m (£14.5m) that had been loaned to her by Art Capital Group. If she failed to pay that amount she would lose the rights to her extensive collection of photography.
However, as BBC News reports today, Art Capital Group, which began legal proceedings for breach of contract against Ms Leibovitz in July has agreed to withdraw the lawsuit and also to an extension of the time she has to pay back the loan. It's not know how long an extension has been given.
As part of the agreement Annie Leibovitz will also remain in control of the copyright of her pictures.
Despite making millions from her photography, which include a nude portrait of a pregnant Demi Moore for the cover of Vanity Fair and a picture of John Lennon taken only hours before he was murdered, Leibovitz has a history of unpaid taxes and unpaid bills. Her properties in New York have multimillion dollar mortgages on them.
Leibovitz also faced a lawsuit from a neighbour when she revealed plans to renovate three town houses in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. The neighbour sued for $15m (£9m).
Ms Leibovitz took out the loan from Art Capital Group to pay off debts and used her life's work as security on the loan.
Despite the deadline for the repayment of the loan being widely reported, it was unclear what would happen when it passed.
If Ms Leibovitz repays the loan within the new terms, she won't lose the rights to her images.
In a statement she said, "In these challenging times I am appreciative to Art Capital for all they have done to resolve this matter and for their co-operation and continued support."
She also added that she was "looking forward to concentrating on her work."
Ian Peck, chief executive officer of Art Capital Group said in a statement, "We are gratified to be able to further assist Ms Leibovitz to achieve financial stability."
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