Categorized | Legal News

OU resolves dispute over Nazi-stolen artwork

The University of Oklahoma has resolved a dispute over ownership of a Nazi-stolen painting hanging in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman, the student newspaper OU Daily reported Tuesday.

OU has agreed to fully transfer the rights of the painting “La Bergère rentrant des moutons” to the family that sought to re-obtain its ownership, the newspaper reported.

OU President David Boren said in a statement May 14, 2015, that the full history of the painting was unknown and defended Aaron and Clara Weitzenhoffer’s purchase of the painting in 1956.  Now, according to Pierre Ciric, the Meyer family’s attorney, the university has acknowledged its previous ownership of the painting.

Ciric said the painting will be transported to a museum institution in France sometime this summer, where it will be displayed publicly for five years. After that five-year period, the painting will rotate between a museum in France and Fred Jones, he said.

He also said no money was exchanged in the settlement.

Nazi forces stole the painting from the family of Leone Meyer, who sued the university to re-obtain ownership of it, in 1941. After a period in which the painting exchanged hands multiple times, Clara and Aaron Weitzenhoffer, the parents of OU Regent Max Weitzenhoffer, purchased it from an art gallery in New York. Clara Weitzenhoffer’s estate then bequeathed the painting to the art museum at OU in 2000.

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