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Case Summary

Schoeps v. Museum of Modern Art

Schoeps v. Museum of Modern Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 594 F. Supp. 2d 461 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) (denying museum’s motion for summary judgment), 603 F. Supp. 2d 673 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) (ordering settlement to be filed under seal).

In this case involving two important Picasso paintings allegedly sold under duress in Germany during the Nazi-era, the court found that the heirs of the paintings’ pre-WWII owner had enough evidence to defeat a motion for 

summary judgment made by the two New York museums to which the works were later donated – the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art. The museums were seeking a judgment that the heirs had no ownership claim to the paintings because the 1935 sale was voluntary and not forced. The court . . . .

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