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Case Summary

City of Gotha v. Sotheby's

City of Gotha v. Sotheby’s, [1998] EWHC (QB) 1 W.L.R. 114 (Eng.).

In 1946, a small 17th Century oil-on-copper painting by Dutch Mannerist Joachim Wtewael disappeared from a museum in central Germany. In 1992, the painting appeared in an auction catalogue at Sotheby’s, London, setting off an ownership battle in English courts. German authorities claimed that a Panamanian company, Cobert Finance, had converted German state property by consigning the work to auction, and demanded its return. In 1998, the English court . . . .

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