Despite Setback by the Supreme Court, Goudstikker Heir Pledges Heir Pledges To Continue Fight Against Norton Simon Museum

28 Jun 2011 10:20 AM | Tess Davis (Administrator)

In an order issued today, the United States Supreme Court declined to grant the petition of Marei von Saher, the sole living heir of the noted Jewish art dealer, Jacques Goudstikker (1897-1940), to review the prior ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which had held unconstitutional a California statute extending the time for Holocaust victims and their heirs to bring claims for the return of Nazi-looted art.  Ms. von Saher immediately moved to have the Court of Appeals reconsider its prior decision in light of an inconsistent ruling by that court in another case. 

Regardless of the outcome, of that motion, Ms. von Saher vowed to continue her fight to recover two iconic life-size paintings, Adam and Eve, by Lucas Cranach the Elder from the Norton Simon Museum of Art in Pasadena, California, utilizing California’s recently amended general statute of limitations.  The Cranachs were among the most important artworks in Goudstikker’s collection, which was looted by Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering following the Nazi invasion of The Netherlands in 1940.

Lawrence M. Kaye of Herrick, Feinstein LLP, one of Ms. von Saher’s attorneys, stated, “We are of course disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen not to review our client’s case.  We are even more disappointed that the Norton Simon Museum has tried to avoid having the courts address Ms. von Saher’s claim on the merits and has instead hidden behind technical defenses like the statute of limitations.”  

Ms. von Saher stated:  “We have received other disappointing decisions in our long journey to recover our family’s heritage, but we persevered and  eventually prevailed after those temporary setbacks.  We will continue to fight in this case until justice is achieved.” 


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