New York, NY – Verdict Overturned in “Nazi” Art Flap


    New York, NY – A federal appeals court has overturned a verdict that denied the heirs of a Holocaust victim — including a Manhattan man — ownership of a valuable drawing they claim was looted by the Nazis.

    Join our WhatsApp group

    Subscribe to our Daily Roundup Email

    The case involves a 1917 work by Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele, “Seated Woman with Bent Left Leg (Torso),” which Massachusetts sculptor David Bakalar bought for $4,300 in 1963 from a Manhattan art gallery.

    Bakalar filed suit when the heirs of Franz Friedrich Grunbaum — including Manhattan stamp dealer Leon Fischer — challenged his ownership after a 2005 auction at which the drawing attracted a top bid of $675,000.

    The Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a lower-court finding that relatives of Grunbaum, who died in Dachau in 1941, “failed to produce ‘any concrete evidence’ ” of their allegations.

    “Our reading of the record suggests there may be such evidence,” Judge Edward Korman wrote for the three-judge panel.

    The drawing was among 449 artworks — including 81 Schieles — owned by Grunbaum, a popular Vienna cabaret entertainer who was forced to sign over power of attorney after he was arrested and thrown in a concentration camp by the Nazis in 1938.

    Bakalar’s lawyer, James Janowitz, said he would likely ask the entire Court of Appeals to review yesterday’s decision.

    Listen to the VINnews podcast on:

    iTunes | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Podbean | Amazon

    Follow VINnews for Breaking News Updates

    Connect with VINnews

    Join our WhatsApp group