Wednesday, September 20, 2023

"Metropolitan Museum of Art secretly sold $70M Van Gogh looted by Nazis in attempted cover-up: lawsuit"

First we find out the Bankman-Fried's mom was running an illegal get-out-the-vote operation (in addition to the dark money racket she was also running),—Barbara Fried, Stanford law Professor specializing in ethics, author of "The philosophy of personal responsibility has ruined criminal justice and economic policy. It’s time to move past blame"—Barbara H. Fried, that Barbara Fried; and now this.

It's getting so you cant trust anyone.

From the New York Post, September 20:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is being accused of “secretly” selling a Van Gogh masterpiece looted from Jews fleeing the Nazis — and trying to organize a cover-up designed to last for 100 years.

The museum is being sued by a Jewish family who owned “The Olive Picking” before World War II and wants it back. It could be worth $70 million.

The painting was bought by the Met in 1956 from Brooke Astor — the socialite who died at age 105 in 2007 — then sold secretly in 1972 and vanished from public view.

It only surfaced in 2019 in the catalogue of a newly opened gallery in Athens, Greece.

That breakthrough allowed the family of Jewish collector Hedwig Stern, who died in 1987, to piece together what they now allege had happened.

Now nine of Stern’s heirs are suing both the Met and the Greek museum’s operators, the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation, in federal court in Northern California for its return, saying they are the victims of decades of cover-up and lies.

The Met is fighting the case, saying it had no idea the work was looted. The nine plaintiffs include Stern’s grandchildren and stepgrandchildren, who now live in Oakland and Los Angeles, Calif., Washington state and Israel. Their attorney declined to comment.

The case threatens to open the Met’s secret files about one of its most storied curators, former “Monuments Man” Theodore Rousseau, who bought and sold the Van Gogh.

“The Olive Picking,” painted by the Dutch artist in 1889 just before his death, was bought in 1935 by Stern, an heiress and a doctor’s wife, from Munich’s Heinrich Thannhauser Gallery, adding to her collection of Impressionists.

But when she, her husband and their six children tried to flee the rising tide of Nazi persecution in 1936, the Gestapo stopped them from taking “The Olive Picking.”

She ordered her lawyer to sell it and a Renoir through the same gallery. The Nazis simply kept the 55,000 Reichsmarks; Stern and her family found safety in Berkeley, Calif....

....MUCH MORE, dirty deeds done by people who knew better.

Both Ma Fried and the Met.