18 May 2007
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Elizabeth Taylor could retain possession of her Van Gogh painting View of the Church of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole. The Orkin family, descendants of Margarete Mauthner, one of the earlier owners of the painting, claimed that the art work had been confiscated by the Nazis during World War II. In an earlier decision, the Orkin's claim was rejected and was again turned down upon appeal. The appeals panel stated that the Orkin family waited too long to make a claim on the work. The case was also dismissed on the grounds that there was no hard evidence to support the claim of Nazi theft. Taylor's lawyers maintained that the work had passed to her through legitimate Jewish art dealers and that the painting had never been looted during the war.