Seated Man with a Cane
|Seated Man with a Cane|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||126 cm × 75 cm (50 in × 30 in)|
The painting was purchased by the International Art Center (IAC) at a 1996 Christie's auction in London for £2 million. In 2008, the painting was put up for auction by Sotheby's in New York, but no bids were made.
Philippe Maestracci claims ownership of the painting through inheritance through his grandfather. According to Maestracci, the painting was taken from his grandfather, Jewish Parisian art dealer Oscar Stettiner, by the Nazis during the German occupation of France. In 1939, Oscar Stettiner left the painting behind in France ahead of the German occupation. The Nazis took administration over the painting in 1941 and auctioned it off in 1944. In 1946, Oscar Stettiner filed a claim to recover the painting, but the French authorities were ultimately unable to find it.
In 2011, Maestracci pressed charges against Helly Nahmad and David Nahmad in the US federal court in New York to recover ownership rights to the painting. The Nahmads denied that they were the owners of the painting, claiming that they were merely exhibiting it on the behalf of the IAC, a Panamanian corporation listed as its titular owner. Since then, Maestracci has filed multiple lawsuits in an attempt to recover the painting. According to the Panama Papers released in 2016, "David Nahmad, the family leader, has been the company’s sole owner since January 2014”. In April, 2016, Swiss authorities seized the painting from the Geneva Freeport as part of an ongoing investigation.
Following a court decision in 2017, Maestracci has standing to continue with his 2014 lawsuit to reclaim the work.
- Ruiz, Christina (8 April 2016). "Panama Papers expose art world's offshore secrets". The Art Newspaper. The Art Newspaper. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- Sher, Julian (11 April 2016). "Modigliani masterpiece seized in wake of Panama Papers". CBC News. CBC News. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- Maloney, Jennifer (Oct 27, 2014). "After Finding Lost Painting, a Roadblock". Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- Jason Grant (November 6, 2017). "Jewish Art Collector's Heir Has Standing to Sue for Nazi-Confiscated Painting". New York Law Journal. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paintings by Amedeo Modigliani.|