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Nagy Loses In Court

April 6, 2018

Egon Schiele “Woman in a Black Pinafore”

Back in 2015, two Nazi looted drawings by Egon Schiele turned up in London dealer Richard Nagy’s booth at a New York show (estimated value was about $5M).  Papers were filed on November 16, 2015 to recover the works.  After a long, and what I would expect to be costly, legal battle the works are being returned to the heirs of Franz Friedrich “Fritz” Grunbaum, an Austrian-Jewish entertainer and impresario who perished in the Dachau concentration camp in 1941.

The works, “Woman in a Black Pinafore” and “Woman Hiding Her Face”, were part of Grunbaum’s extensive art collection … most of which was confiscated by the Nazi’s in 1938. Nagy claimed that the two works were actually among a group of  paintings sold by the Grunbaum family in 1956 (you can read more about that here) so there are no issue with title.

Sadly for Nagy (who is now out a great deal of money), Justice Charles Ramos of the state Supreme Court in Manhattan sided against him, citing the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act. On the flip side, the heirs have just hit a small jackpot.

Source: New York judge awards Nazi-looted artworks to Holocaust victim’s heirs in key test case