BERLIN (AP) — A Houston museum said Friday it “stands by its ownership” of a painting on loan to an exhibition in Germany which is being claimed as Nazi-looted art.
Henri Edmond Cross’ “Regatta in Venice” was loaned by Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts for a show on the French artist at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, just outside Berlin. Heirs of Jewish French collector Gaston Levy say it was stolen from their family by the Nazis and have filed a legal request for its return.
The Texas museum said it made a legal filing in Potsdam on Thursday. It said in a statement that “based on the facts of the provenance research, the museum stands by its ownership of ‘Regatta in Venice.’”
It said in its filing that no proof has been presented that the plaintiffs are Levy’s rightful heirs. His clients had found out only now about the existence of the missing painting and were demanding its return. He said the family lives in Europe, but didn’t want to further identify them.