Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Too Late (UPDATED)

The New York Times reports this morning (second item, right below the bit about Keith Richard snorting his dad):

"The Detroit Institute of Arts has won the legal right to retain a disputed van Gogh painting after a federal district court judge ruled that a family asserting ownership had waited too long to file its claim .... A parallel case involving a Gauguin painting, brought by the same family against the Toledo Museum of Art, was dismissed by an Ohio judge in December. In the Detroit case, Martha Nathan, a member of a Jewish banking family that emigrated from Germany to France in 1938 to escape Nazi persecution, sold the van Gogh, 'Les BĂȘcheurs' ('The Diggers') to a consortium of three dealers in Paris in 1938 for $9,360. One of the dealers sold it in 1941 for $34,000 to Robert Tannahill, a Detroit art collector who bequeathed it to the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1969. The Nathan family asserted its claim to the painting in 2004, but United States District Court Judge Denise Page Hood, citing the expiration of Michigan’s statute of limitations, dismissed the case."

More from the Detroit Free Press here. You can see the painting here. I posted on the Ohio decision here.

UPDATE: The Michigan decision is available here, courtesy of Terry Martin.