The Latest: Testimony ends in trial over disputed Nazi art

FILE - This May 12, 2005, file photo shows an unidentified visitor viewing the Impressionist painting called "Rue St.-Honore, Apres-Midi, Effet de Pluie" painted in 1897 by Camille Pissarro, on display in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. In the epic, 16-year battle over the priceless painting looted by the Nazis, there is one point on which all sides agree: When Lilly Cassirer and her husband fled Germany ahead of the Holocaust, they surrendered their Camille Pissarro masterpiece in exchange for their lives. (AP Photo/Mariana Eliano, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a trial over disputed Nazi art (all times local):

2:25 p.m.

Testimony has ended in a Los Angeles trial to decide the rightful owner of a priceless Camille Pissaro painting that was seized by the Nazis in 1939.

U.S. District Judge John F. Walter on Tuesday offered both attorneys the opportunity for closing arguments, but they declined. The judge gave them until Feb. 10 to submit post-trial motions. The judge's ruling isn't expected until the spring.

The trial is the latest round in a two-decade battle by David Cassirer to get the painting back from Spain's Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

His great-grandmother, Lilly Cassirer, surrendered the artwork in exchange for safe passage out of Germany during the Holocaust. Her heirs didn't know where it was until 1999.

The museum says it acquired the painting in good faith and should be allowed to keep it.


1 p.m.

The attorney for a family seeking to recover a priceless painting seized by the Nazis grilled defense witnesses while seeking to show the museum that acquired it in 1992 should have known it was looted art.

Attorney David Boies on Tuesday cross-examined the research team for Spain's Thyssen-Bornemisza museum. He asked why they overlooked signs that indicated the provenance of Camille Pissaro's 1897 painting of a Paris street scene was questionable.

One of the museum's experts, Lynn Nicholas, said she couldn't explain why cardboard covering various labels showing provenance had been attached to the back of the artwork.

One of those labels showed it had belonged to a Berlin gallery owned by the family of David Cassirer, who is suing to get it back.

Cassirer's great grandmother surrendered the painting in exchange for safe passage out of Germany.


12:05 a.m.

Seventy-nine years ago a Jewish woman named Lilly Cassirer surrendered her family's priceless Camille Pissarro painting to the Nazis in exchange for safe passage out of Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

On Tuesday her great-grandson will walk into a U.S. courtroom for the latest round of what has been a nearly 20-year battle to get it back.

Cassirer's family is suing Spain for the painting "Rue Saint-Honoré in the Afternoon, Effect of Rain."

The work, valued at $30 million or more, has been hanging in Spain's Thyssen-Bornemisza museum since 1993.

Cassirer's heirs didn't know where it was until 1999. They have been fighting for its return ever since.

Spain says it acquired the painting in good faith and should be allowed to keep it.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.