National Gallery sued for return of Matisse

September 12 2016

Image of National Gallery sued for return of Matisse

Picture: National Gallery

The heirs of the sitter in a portrait by Matisse are suing the National Gallery in London for its return. They claim the sitter, Greta Moll, gave the portrait to someone for safekeeping in 1947, and that it was subsequently sold illegally. The National Gallery bought it in 1979.

The National Gallery is refusing to return the work and notes that there is at the moment no proof of an alleged theft. They also claim that they are forbidden by UK law from transferring the title to any of their paintings. The case is being brought in a New York court; quite why I'm not sure, for no US court can compel a British museum to return a painting. Perhaps the aim is to rack up legal fees in the hope of cutting a deal.

More, including a full statement from the National Gallery, here.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.