California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide California museums that don’t give Nazi-stolen art back to the rightful owners. Even if that means that returning 500-year-old Adam and Eve will cost Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum of Art a cool $24 mil.
El Protector De La Gente, Jerry Brown:
Brown Defends Right to Seek Return of Artworks Stolen by Nazis
LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. has filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a Connecticut woman who seeks the return of a pair of 500-year-old paintings looted by the Nazis during World War II, kept for a time in the estate of Nazi leader Hermann Göring and purchased 40 years ago by the Norton Simon Museum of Art.
Brown’s friend of the court brief backs Marei Von Saher, who is suing the Pasadena museum over “Adam and Eve.” The two panels painted by the 16th century German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder are evocative of original sin, according to the museum’s website.
The works were confiscated by Nazi soldiers from an Amsterdam gallery owned by a relative of Von Saher’s during the war. From there, the panels were moved to Göring’s country estate near Berlin until May 1945, when they were discovered by American troops. The following year, they were returned to Amsterdam. From there, the artwork’s trail grows murkier, leading through Russia and to a sale in 1971 to the Norton Simon Museum, where the panels are on display on the main floor. The paintings were appraised last year at $24 million. A depiction similar to the “Eve” panel appears each week at the beginning of the TV show “Desperate Housewives.”
Here they are:
All the deets, after the jump.