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US appeals court upholds ruling on Nazi-looted Cranachs

31 July 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

US appeals court upholds ruling on Nazi-looted Cranachs | A US appeal court in San Francisco has upheld an earlier ruling from 2016 in favour of California’s Norton Simon Museum, allowing the museum to keep a pair of Cranach paintings of Adam and Eve that were looted by the Nazis during the Second World War. The works, which were taken from Dutch art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, had been recovered following the war but the Goudstikker heirs failed to meet the deadline to claim them back, and they were subsequently sold and brought to America. This week’s ruling concludes a more than decade-long legal battle initiated by Marei von Saher, Goudstikker’s daughter-in-law, seeking to claim ownership of the Cranachs, recently valued at $24m.

Peter Ainsworth appointed as chair of the Heritage Alliance | Former Conservative MP Peter Ainsworth has been appointed as the new chair of the Heritage Alliance in the UK. Subject to approval at the organisation’s annual general meeting in December, Ainsworth will replace Loyd Grossman, who has served as chair for the past nine years.

Florida’s Norton Museum gets $16m for new wing | The Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund has donated $16m to Florida’s Norton Museum of Art. The largest single monetary gift in the institution’s history, the donation will help fund a $100m campaign that includes a new 5400-square-metre wing, to be named the Kenneth C. Griffin Building. Griffin, a hedge fund manager and investor, will donate a further $4m to endow the museum’s directorship. 

Foundations of Roman library uncovered in Cologne | Deutsche Welle reports that archeologists have uncovered the foundations of a library built by the Romans and believed to be the oldest library in Germany. The site, thought to have been built between 150 and 200 AD, was discovered when construction work began a year ago on a new Protestant church building. There are plans for parts of the remains to be made publicly accessible to visitors.