Contested van Gogh Painting Will Stay at Yale

  • March 23, 2014 23:54

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Van Gogh, The Night Cafe. Yale University.

A Russian man who claimed that a Vincent van Gogh painting was stolen from his family during the communist revolution was denied ownership of the artwork by a U.S. judge who ruled for it to remain at Yale University.

Pierre Knowaloff sued the school for possession of the painting, The Night Cafe, which is valued at between $120 million and $150 million.

Knowaloff claimed that his grandfather, Ivan Morozov, purchased the work in 1908 and that the Russian government seized it during the communist revolution in 1918 when all personal property was nationalized. 

The judge sided with Yale's lawyers who argued that Russia did not violate international laws at the time of the seizure.

“We’re pleased that the court has dismissed Konowaloff’s claims. The Night Cafe is a timeless masterpiece that the public can see free of charge, and in this suit Yale has worked to make sure it stays that way," said Yale lawyer Jonathan Freiman.



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