Introductory Note to Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation (U.S. Sup. Ct.)

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During the winters of 1897 and 1898, from the window of his Parisian hotel, Camille Pisarro painted one of his first urban scenes, Rue Saint-Honoré in the Afternoon. Effect of Rain (the Painting). The Painting marks a significant deviation from Pissarro's prior works, which primarily consisted of au plein air country landscapes. In addition to the Painting's art historical significance, it has now become one of Pissarro's most infamous paintings. Currently sitting in the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza (TBC) in Madrid, this artwork has been the subject of a decades-long court battle over its ownership. After the Nazis assumed control of Germany, the original owner forcibly surrendered the Painting in order to obtain exit visas for her family. Decades later, the heirs of the original owners attempted to recover the Painting under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). After this decades-long litigation, the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve a procedural issue: what choice-of-law rule a court should apply in an FSIA case raising state claims.


Full text: 2023 WL 2278573

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