Vancouver Sun

JUDGE RULES AGAINST HEIR WHO WANTED PI­CASSO RE­TURNED

- Crime · Arts · Museums · New York City · Italy · Switzerland

A fed­eral judge in New York has dis­missed a law­suit that sought to force the Metropoli­tan Mu­seum of Art to re­turn a Pi­casso paint­ing to the heir of a Jewish busi­ness­man who al­legedly sold it un­der duress. Judge Loretta Preska ruled Wed­nes­day that the mu­seum can keep the 190405 paint­ing, The Ac­tor. Ac­cord­ing to the law­suit, busi­ness­man Paul Leff­mann and his wife, Alice, fled Italy for Switzer­land in 1938 and sold the paint­ing to fi­nance their flight. The law­suit al­leged the sale was made un­der duress for $13,200, much less than the paint­ing was worth. The paint­ing was do­nated to the Met in 1952. The judge said the Leff­manns’ great-grand-niece, Lau­rel Zuck­er­man, could not show that the paint­ing was sold un­der duress un­der New York law. Zuck­er­man’s lawyer did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

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