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Prince’s sisters demand return of $200 million master tapes moved from his home

Prince‘s half-sisters and heirs have called for the return of valuable items moved from a vault in his Paisley Park studio-home.

Sharon and Norrine Nelson have said that four trucks pulled up at Paisley Park in early September and removed the contents of the vault. They are now threatening legal action against Comerica Bank Trust, the company working as the executors of the late musician’s estate, after they moved the contents of the vault, including master tapes of unreleased music worth $200 million (£169m), to California.

Comerica has said that the recordings have been shipped from Minnesota to a storage company in Los Angeles, arguing that the items will be “safer” at the new location.

“We want the music back home in Paisley Park where it belongs,” Sharon Nelson told the Associated Press, while Norrine Nelson called it “extraordinary and unconscionable” that the music has been moved from a place that it had been safe at for over 40 years.

“It’s just as though Prince passed away again,” Sharon said. “That’s how I felt. I was really devastated by that.” The sisters claim to have not been told why the items were moved.

Prince reality TV

Comerica has since released a statement, defending its decision. “In an effort to ensure the preservation of Prince’s audio and visual content, Comerica selected the premier entertainment storage and archive company, Iron Mountain Entertainment Services,” the statement reads. “On four separate occasions, Comerica discussed the process with the heirs and any suggestion otherwise is not accurate.”

“After reviewing the storage conditions at Paisley Park and out of concern regarding the consequences of a fire or other loss at the facility, Comerica determined that it was necessary to transfer the audio and visual content to a secure location where all of the original content could be securely stored and digitized as a safeguard against the destruction or loss of any original content,” the company adds.

Comerica are required to give Prince’s heirs 14 business days notice before making transactions worth more than $2 million and the sisters argue that this should have applied to their act of moving the vault’s contents.

Prince passed away at Paisley Park in April 2016. He didn’t have a will so a judge ruled in May that the musician’s six surviving siblings would be heirs to his estate.

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