Van Gogh owners sued because of painting’s history!

Three of Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s legal heirs are suing a Japanese holding company, Sampo Holdings.

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was a German-Jewish banker who was forced to sell his amazing art collection (including Picasso, Monet, and Vincent van Gogh’s painting “Sunflowers”) to avoid persecution by the Nazis.


Three legal heirs of a man by the name of Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, are suing a Japanese holding company.

Apparently, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, who was a German-Jewish banker, was forced to sell his art collection to avoid persecution by the Nazis.

Some of the artworks that were in his collection included pieces by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and Auguste Renoir, and these were sold sometime within the mid-1930s.

Another piece that was part of his collection, though, which is part of this whole legislative lawsuit sort of thing, was Vincent van Gogh’s 1888 painting “Sunflowers.”

So Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s heirs filed this lawsuit December 13th, and they alleged that Sampo Holdings ignored and was “recklessly indifferent” toward the painting’s provenance when it was sold in the late 1980s at public auction.

In return, though, Sampo Holdings, of course, is denying any and all allegations that are being brought forth.

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