Sunday March 9, 2014
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In 1937, a 7 inch by 10 inch Renoir belonging to art patron Saidie May was loaned to the Baltimore Museum of Art.
The painting was stolen in 1951.
That same year an insurance company paid the museum $2,500 for its loss. There is no record that the original owner received any part of the settlement.
Two years ago, in 2010, a Baltimore woman bought a box of "junk" in a flea sale for $7.00 in West Virginia.
After storing a small painting found in the box for two years, the woman decided to have it appraised and found that it was a genuine Renoir named "The Banks of the Seine."
It was due to go on the auction block, and expected to go for about $75,000.
The auction has been cancelled, and now four separate claims are being made as to its ownership:
a. The estate of the original owner.
b. The woman who bought it in the flea sale.
c. The Baltimore museum.
d. The insurance company.
Have you got the envelope?
Good! Open it please....
And the winner is...?
Is there any paper work showing the picture was loaned to the museum and for how long?
Why did the insurance company pay the museum if the picture didn't belong to them?
Was it reported to police when it was stolen?
"Is there any paper work showing the picture was loaned to the museum and for how long?"
Yes. It was on indefinite loan.
"Why did the insurance company pay the museum if the picture didn't belong to them?"
That question is not answered in the article. Nor is the question whether or not any of the insurance money was paid to the owner of the painting. I thought those two points should have been there, but they weren't.
"Was it reported to police when it was stolen?"
Hope that helps you make up your mind.
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