PropertyProf Blog

Editor: Stephen Clowney
Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Thursday, 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.

Alfred Brophy

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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

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