Supreme Court Asked to Consider Legal Status of Famous Picasso Painting Sold by Escapees of Nazi Persecution

January 23, 2020 – Press Release
Haynes and Boone, LLP

In a petition for certiorari filed last week, the U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to consider whether New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art must return a Picasso masterwork, “The Actor,” which was previously owned by a Jewish couple, the Leffmanns, who were forced to sell the painting at a steep discount to fund their escape from Nazi persecution. Laurel Zuckerman, the Leffmanns’ great grand-niece, filed suit in 2016 against the Met after unsuccessfully demanding that the museum return “The Actor.”

The case centers on the federal Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016 (HEAR Act), which is designed to help facilitate the recovery of art and other prized possessions unlawfully lost because of Nazi persecution.

Haynes and Boone, LLP, who represent Zuckerman in the case before the Supreme Court, issued the attached press release. Zuckerman was represented in the trial court and continues to be represented on appeal by Herrick, Feinstein LLP.