Judge dismisses lawsuit against Michigan museum over van Gogh painting

Culture and art
  • 21-01-2023, 22:18
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    A judge has dismissed a lawsuit surrounding a $5 million van Gogh painting on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

    The lawsuit, filed by a Brazilian art collector, claimed “The Novel Reader” painting was stolen and that the DIA should give it to him.

    The painting was loaned to the DIA for the much-celebrated van Gogh in America exhibition now showing 74 van Gogh works through Jan. 22.

    According to the museum, “The Novel Reader” was not listed as stolen or missing with the Art Loss Register, the largest private database of stolen art, and was not on FBI’s National Stolen Art File when it arranged for the loan in early 2022.

    In an opinion, Judge George Caram Steeh ruled in favor of the museum, saying it had followed the rules of the federal Immunity from Seizure Act.

    The act is intended to “assist and encourage cultural exchange” with other countries and, as such, “renders immune from seizure under judicial process certain objects of cultural significance imported into the United States for temporary display or exhibition.”

    Steeh ruled the DIA properly applied through the State Department and received approval.