August 11, 2020
Lawsuit to Recover Dutch Paintings Hits Snag, We Will Pursue to Supreme Court if Needed
In 2018 Mount Pleasant resident Bruce Berg sued the government of the Netherlands in an effort to recover 144 paintings that once wre part of the inventory of an important art gallery, Firma D. Katz, located in the Dutch city of Dieren and operated by his grandfather and great-uncle.
Benjamin and Nathan Katz were important German art dealers in the 1930s and 40s who focused on the Dutch masters and who sold most of their paintings to the Nazis in an effort to save the lives of 25 relatives.
The Dutch government argued that the art was sold fairly and that it now is part of the country’s national treasure trove and of terric value to the Dutch people, Berg, in his suit, argued that fairness did not exist in Nazi Germany, that any transaction with Nazis, no matter its appearance on paper, must have been made under duress and that the art rightfully belongs to the family.
Last week, it was announced that the lawsuit filed was dismissed on legal technicalities, granting a victory to the Dutch.
In March, Berg and his attorney, Joel Androphy, asked the court to amend its judgement but the motion was denied in June. Berg said he will continue to pursue his claim.
Androphy said, “We’re all passionate, and that’s why we’re still pursuing it and will do so to the Supreme Court if we have to.”