Attorney: Yale turned blind eye when acquiring art
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN – Jun 3, 2009 A.P.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Yale University’s acquisition of a Vincent Van Gogh painting that Russia once claimed as its own amounted to acceptance of stolen property and “art laundering,” a descendant of an earlier owner alleges.
Pierre Konowaloff of France argues in recent court papers that Russian authorities in the 1917 revolution unlawfully confiscated the painting owned by Konowaloff’s ancestor and that the United States deemed the theft a violation of international law.
“Yale’s continued and wrongful detention of the unlawfully confiscated ‘The Night Cafe’ is prohibited by customary and international treaty law,” Konowaloff’s attorneys wrote in the filings.