Art law USA

Grosz heirs vs MoMA case dismissed

Three-year statute of limitations has run out

LONDON. A judge in New York has dismissed the case made by the heirs of George Grosz, who claimed that three paintings by the German artist in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) were taken and traded during the 1930s, making them Nazi loot, albeit indirectly. On 6 January, the judge, John McMahon, dismissed the challenge to the museum’s ownership of Portrait of the Poet Max Hermann-Neisse (with Cognac Glass), 1927, Self-portrait with a Model, 1928, and Republican Automatons, 1920, on the grounds of the three-year statute of limitations. The estate first asked the museum to hand over the paintings in November 2003, but did not commence its lawsuit until April 2009. MoMA rejected the claim that the paintings, which it acquired between 1946 and 1954, were ever Nazi loot, after researching their complex history (The Art Newspaper, November 2009, p13).

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Comments

8 Feb 10
15:1 CET

CYRIL BENNETT, LAS VEGAS

Regarding George Grosz paintings their is no statue of limitations on stolen Nazi loot it is a known fact that Hitler ravaged the galleries and museums of Europe stealing over 4,500 works of art to finance his war machine including the Mona Lisa which German soldiers actually walked on while lying on the floor,it is also known their were devious dealers in the united states in the early years selling some of the art after the war ended, of course most of these dealers have passed away,i am sure many museum and art galleries have on display Nazi loot,but do not want this known,the heirs should continue with their lawsuit,because i am sure the judge erred,with the lack of knowledge of the art world,

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