A $3 million painting by U.S. artist Brice Marden was destroyed during a move from Moscow to New York because of negligence by Lufthansa Cargo and others involved in the move, according to a federal lawsuit.

Marden's Au Center came loose in its travel frame while being transported last year, resulting in a significant amount of paint loss and the destruction of the painting, said Eliot Greenberg, a lawyer for Gagosian Gallery in New York.

The gallery, which owned the painting, initially sued Lufthansa, Art Crating Inc. and others in New York state court in June, but the case was moved to federal court Friday.

Gagosian valued the painting at $3 million and claims in the lawsuit the defendants are indebted to them for that sum.

Lufthansa and Art Crating Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Au Center, painted in 1969, is a two-panel work in two shades of gray. Marden, 70, was the subject of a retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 2006. The same year The New Yorker magazine called him the most profound abstract painter of the past four decades.