High court rejects appeal over Picasso painting

AP News
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Posted: Jan 19, 2016 10:07 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from descendants of famed composer Felix Mendelssohn who want German officials to return a Pablo Picasso painting that was subject to forced transfer under the Nazi regime.

The justices on Tuesday let stand a lower court ruling that said the German state of Bavaria was entitled to sovereign immunity in a lawsuit over rights to "Madame Soler," valued at about $100 million.

The painting was sold under duress in 1934 by Berlin banker Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy to Justin Thannhauser, a German art dealer who later moved to New York. Thannhauser later sold the painting to Bavarian officials. It is now on display in a Munich museum.

Lower courts ruled that Bavaria was immune even though the painting was sold in the United States.