June 2022: Final resolution of Reif and Fraenkel v Nagy

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On 13 November 2015, art dealer Richard Nagy attempted to sell two works from the collection of Fritz Grünbaum at the Armory art fair in New York and was subsequently asked by attorney Raymond Dowd to surrender the two artworks and return them to the heirs of Fritz Grünbaum.

Due to his refusal, a lawsuit was filed, and the two artworks were frozen in New York.

By decision of first instance dated 11 June 2018, by Judge Charles E. Ramos, the writ of replevin was granted against the art dealer Richard Nagy for

-             Deprivation of Possession and 

-             Appropriation 

In a decision of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York on 22 October 2019, Richard Nagy was denied an appeal from the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeals, First Division, which was unanimously rendered by an oral hearing of the Court of Appeal thus affirming the 11 June 2018 first instance decision of the Supreme Court District of New York by Judge Charles E. Ramos.

The factual issue was thus concluded and the ownership rights of the heirs of Fritz Grünbaum over the artworks of Egon Schiele, namely.

1) JK 1101 Model hiding her face (Woman hiding her face) and

2) JK 888 Woman with black pinafore (Woman in black Pinafore)

were upheld.

In addition, on 2 March 2021 the court ruled that the aggrieved family was entitled to an additional $700,964.44 in damages and interest for the delay in restitution of the two artworks.

Art dealer Richard Nagy appealed to the Court of Appeal, of the State of New York, on 9 February 2022 seeking permission to claim the 11 June 2018 decision on principled legal grounds.

By decision dated 24 May 2022, Richard Nagy was denied this final appeal for lack of demand.

Thus, the first-instance judgment of 11 June is final and to be enforced.

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