This is a brief excerpt from the document you requested from IFAR’s Art Law & Cultural Property Database.

Case Summary

Orkin v. Swiss Confederation

Orkin v. Swiss Confederation, 770 F.Supp.2d 612 (S.D.N.Y. 2011), aff’d, No. 11-1414-cv (2d Cir. 2011).

In this case, in which the plaintiff sought the return of a drawing allegedly sold under duress to a private party during the Nazi era, a New York 

Federal District Court held that the current owner—the Swiss Confederation—was immune from suit as a foreign sovereign. The court rejected the argument that the “takings” exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”), 28 U.S.C. §1605(a)(3), allowed it to exercise  jurisdiction because the initial sale of the drawing was to a private individual, not to a foreign state. The court also rejected the claim that Switzerland had violated international law under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”), 28 U.S.C. §1330. The decision was . . . .

Click here to subscribe to IFAR's Art Law & Cultural Property Database to access this and other documents about U.S. and international legislation and case law concerning the acquisition, authenticity, export, ownership, and copyright of art objects.