September 5, 2009

Photographer Leibovitz sued over portraits

An Italian photographer alleges in a New York lawsuit that photographer Annie Leibovitz stole two of his portraits of Italian landmarks.

Paolo Pizzetti alleges in his lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that photographs he took of Italy's Trevi Fountain and the Piazza San Marco were used by Leibovitz in a 2009 calendar, the New York Daily News reported Saturday.

Pizzetti alleges Leibovitz claimed the photographs as her own and never obtained his permission to use them.

Pizzetti maintains he was hired by representatives of Leibovitz in March 2008 to scout Italian locations for a Lavazza coffee calendar. He alleges he sent the two photographs to the representatives, only to learn the calendar photo shoot would take place in New York.

The New York Post reported Pizzetti, whose age was not reported, is seeking $300,000 in damages from Leibovitz, 59.

Leibovitz is also facing a Tuesday deadline for repayment of a $24 million loan to a company called Art Capital, the Post said.