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Case Summary

Konowaloff v. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Konowaloff v. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, No. 1:10-cv-09126 (S.D.N.Y. 2011); aff’d, 702 F.3d 140 (2d Cir. 2012).

In 2010, Pierre Konowaloff, the heir of Russian art collector Ivan Morozov, sued the Metropolitan Museum of Art, seeking the return of a Cézanne painting formerly in the Morozov collection. The painting had been nationalized by the Bolshevik Government in 1918 and later purchased by an American art collector, who bequeathed it to the Museum. This lawsuit, as well as a related suit (see Yale University v. Konowaloff), raises issues of the Act of State Doctrine as it relates to the expropriation of cultural property outside the United States.

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