Self-Portrait (1888).  Mr. van Gogh cut his ear off
before painting Ms. Taylor’s picture.

Today, the Ninth Circuit held that actress Elizabeth Taylor needn’t part with a Vincent Van Gogh painting that she acquired at a Sotheby’s auction in 1963.  The court held that ancestors of Margarete Mauthner, a Jewish collector who fled Nazi Germany in 1939, could not prevail on their claims against Ms. Taylor because the Holocaust Victims Redress Act didn’t create a private cause of action and because limitations expired no later than 1993 on their state law claims.  Orkin v. Taylor, No. 05-55364 (9th Cir. May 18, 2007).

Barry Barnett

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