Monday, April 13, 2015

Norton Simon Museum fails to stop lawsuit over Nazi-looted 'Adam' and 'Eve'

By Mike Boehm
"Adam" and "Eve" by Lucas Cranach the Elder. (Norton Simon Art Foundation)
CALIFORNIA---The Norton Simon Museum was dealt another legal setback Thursday in its bid to hold onto prized 16th century paintings of Adam and Eve that were looted by the Nazis during World War II and have hung in its galleries in Pasadena since the 1970s. In a ruling in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Judge John Walter denied the museum’s motion to dismiss Marei Von Saher’s lawsuit that seeks the return of the paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Painted on a pair of wooden panels around 1530, they depict a nude Adam and Eve holding forbidden fruit at the biblical moment when they succumbed to temptation in the Garden of Eden. [link]

Marei von Saher, left, has sued for the return of Cranach the Elder's "Adam" and "Eve" paintings, which belonged to her family before it was looted by the Nazis, and is now owned by the Norton Simon Museum. She is pictured with her daughter Charlene. (Courtesy of Marei von Saher)