Restitution strikes again! The Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation are currently in court battling a German scholar who claims their Picasso paintings were rightfully owned by his Jewish great uncle, who was persecuted in Nazi Germany.
[Persecutor Julian H.] Schoeps demanded on Nov. 1 that the museums hand over both works, "Boy Leading a Horse," which is in‘s collection, and "Le Moulin de la Galette," in the Guggenheim’s collection.
MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry and Guggenheim Foundation Director Thomas Krens said in a joint statement they are confident the paintings were not obtained under Nazi duress.
"The Museum of Modern Art and thetake the issue of restitution very seriously," they said. "Evidence from our extensive research makes clear the museums’ ownership of these works and also makes clear that Mr. Schoeps has no basis for his claim."
Schoeps’ lawyer, John J. Byrne, declined to comment on the museums’ suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.