December 11, 2008
First Circuit's Decision in Vineberg v. Bissonnette
How did I miss this? Last month Judge Selya wrote an opinion affirming a summary judgement award of a painting that Max Stern, an art dealer, was forced by the Nazis to sell at below fair market value in 1937. The opinion is here. (Thanks to a link from the Illicit Cultural Property blog.) There's a lot of stuff in there, though the opinion focuses on a laches argument that the possessor of the property made against the Stern estate's replevin claim. (I know, I know--laches is an equitable defense and replivin is a legal action. I had the same reaction. But the district court allowed the argument and so did the first circuit.)
The possessor of painting ("Girl from the Sabine Mountains") is German baroness Maria-Luise Bissonnette. She inherited it from her mother in 1991. Bissonnette's step-father purchased the painting in 1937.
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oooh...goody, goody, goody....cultural property stuff...
Thanks for the headsup! Can't wait to read the opinion.
Posted by: sam gompers | Dec 11, 2008 8:52:15 AM