"Yale University, which displays a Van Gogh painting seized after the
Bolshevik revolution of 1918, was sued by a man who claims he’s the
descendant of the former Russian owner and the artwork rightfully
belongs to him."
Of course, I followed the link, which took me to this reported response by Yale: Yale, which sued Konowaloff in March seeking a court ruling that it’s the rightful owner, says sales of artwork
“nationalized” by the Soviet Union were valid
Now I have to admit I didn't do any further research, and therefore I won't assign blame or comment on the validity of Yale's rights to the painting.
I do want to draw a picture, however.
Say you've worked very hard to be able to afford the kind of home you've always dreamed of. You fill it with the kind of artwork you desire, honestly and rightfully purchased by your hard-earned money.
Then a new administration comes into power and declares (I do not mean passes a law, which would take years of debate and would never roll in the United States), but just declares that all art is the property of the government. Regardless of who paid for it, of who labored to acquire it, of who loved it enough to buy it.
And the entire world approves.
How fair is that?
Not fair at all. No one approved when Hitler did it. The entire world seeks to put that wrong to rights.
But it's OK when it's the Soviet Union who did it? Why?
And if you're wondering why I'm so fired up about the issue, well, it's because the same Soviet Union stole all of my grandparents property, reduced them to begging, and ultimately caused my baby aunt's death by hunger when they exiled my grandparents to a frozen labor camp.
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