Monday, June 01, 2009

Kokoschka Decision

The New York Times: "A Massachusetts judge has ruled that the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is the rightful owner of a 1913 Oskar Kokoschka painting being sought by a woman who said it was sold under duress during the Nazi occupation of Austria. In 2008 the museum filed suit to assert its ownership rights to the painting ... after a restitution request by the woman, Claudia Seger-Thomschitz, who said she was an heir to Oskar Reichel, who in 1939 sold the painting to the Viennese art dealer Otto Kallir."

The court held that "the evidence is undisputed that the members of the Reichel family had sufficient knowledge of [the] transfer of the Painting to put them on notice of possible injury long before defendant contacted the MFA" and therefore the three-year statute of limitations under Massachusetts law had expired.

I mentioned the suit back in January 2008 here.