Yale, At It Again

As if recurring lawsuits over Apache leader Geronimo’s stolen remains weren’t enough, Yale now faces new accusations of thievery from Pierre Konowaloff, great-grandson to Russian industrialist and aristocrat Ivan Morozov. Mr. Konowaloff has sued the Ivy League university for the return of Vincent Van Gogh’s famed painting “The Night Cafe,” confiscated from his grandfather by Russian Communists in the early 20th century, later sold by the Soviets to a European gallery, and now in Yale’s grubby hands.

Yale alumnus Stephen Carlton Clark bought the painting in New York decades after it was stolen from Morozov and willed it to Yale 1961; Mr. Konowaloff, who lives in France, alleges the university is guilty of “willful ignorance” and should return the painting. Yale has counter-sued, claiming the nationalization of the painting by the Communists was in keeping with international law and so, once it became the property of the Soviet government, it was theirs to sell as they pleased.

Van Gogh: The Night Cafe.

Van Gogh: The Night Cafe.

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