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New York museums to disclose artwork looted by Nazis

September 16, 2022 – Media Mention
Associated Press; MSN, Washington Post; Detroit News

Partner Lawrence M. Kaye was featured in The Associated Press article about New York museums exhibiting artworks looted by Nazis during the Holocaust that are now required by law to let the public know about their provenance through placards displayed with the objects. The article cites the recent law signed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul "requiring museums to put up signs identifying pieces looted by the Nazis from 1933-1945."

The article stated, “at least 600,000 pieces of art were looted from Jewish people before and during World War II, according to experts. Some of that plunder wound up in the world’s great museums.”

Kaye was quoted in reference to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's position that it did not intend to place a placard in front of Picasso's painting "The Actor," which it received as a gift in 1952 and which was once owned by Paul Leffmann, a Jewish businessman, and his wife Alice, who fled Germany to Italy to escape the Nazis and sold the painting under duress to a Paris art dealer in 1938. Kaye represented the estate of Alice Leffmann in a litigation with the museum and noted in the article that despite the dismissal of the matter on technical grounds "the museum should still put up a placard with the painting's disputed history."

“I believe the law would cover this piece. It was dismissed on technical grounds and I believe under the broad definition of what this law means under the statute, it should be covered,” Kaye said.

Read the full article in The Associated Press. Access may require a subscription.