A Spanish museum has won a legal battle to keep a priceless Camille Pissaro painting claimed by descendants of the Jewish woman who surrendered it to the Nazis.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza museum acquired the masterpiece in 1993 but had no knowledge that it was looted by the Nazis, a US court found.
Under Spanish law the painting therefore still belongs to the museum, ruled LA judge John F Walter.
The family of Lilly Cassirer, who gave up the artwork to escape the Holocaust, have been locked in a legal battle with the museum for twenty years.
Despite ruling against the family, Judge Walter criticised Spain’s legal system as “inconsistent” with international agreements on Nazi-looted art.
Other countries, he said, have signed accords "based upon the moral principle that artand cultural property confiscated by the Nazis from Holocaust (Shoah) victims should be returned to them or their heirs."
Click Here: camiseta rosario central
A lawyer for Ms Cassirer’s great-grandson, David Cassirer of San Diego, did not say whether the family plans to appeal.
"We respectfully disagree that the court cannot force the Kingdom of Spain to comply with its moral commitments," attorney Steve Zack said.
The painting at issue, Pissarro’s "Rue St.-Honore, Apres-Midi, Effet de Pluie," is a stunning oil-on-canvas work depicting a rainy Paris street scene the artist observed from his window in 1897.
It was purchased directly from Pissarro’s art dealer in 1900 by the father-in-law of Lilly Cassirer, who eventually inherited it and displayed it in her home for years. When she and her family fled the Holocaust in 1939 she traded it for passage out of the country.
For years the family thought it was lost, and the German government paid her $13,000 in reparations in 1958.
Then in 1999 a friend of her grandson, Claude, who had seen photos of the painting, discovered it was in the Thyssen-Bornemisza.
It had been hanging there since shortly after a nonprofit foundation funded by Spain bought the Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza’s entire collection for $350 million and named the museum for him.