Yale University Accused of Accepting Stolen Painting
The heir to the Russian Morozov collection alleges Yale University accepted stolen property and conspired in “art laundering.” According to the Boston Globe, Pierre Konowaloff “argues in recent court papers that Russian authorities in the 1917 revolution unlawfully confiscated the painting owned by Konowaloff’s ancestor and that the United States deemed the theft a violation of international law.”
Yale received the painting through a bequest from Yale alumnus Stephen Carlton Clark. The school says Clark bought the painting, which shows the inside of a nearly empty cafe, with a few customers seated at tables along the walls, from a gallery in New York City in 1933 or 1934. But Konowaloff alleges Clark knew of the painting’s ownership history and that “Yale engaged in a policy of willful ignorance” when it accepted the piece in 1961.