Legal Action Seeks $5 Million A Stolen Van Gogh Painting is Shown in a Detroit Museum

HAPPENING IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN — After an art collector filed a complaint alleging the theft of a Vincent Van Gogh painting valued at $5 million, a judge temporarily blocked the museum from removing the piece from display in Detroit.

The complaint does not accuse the Detroit Institute of Arts of misconduct rather, it seeks to recover the artwork and return it to the art collector. The novel reader, also known as the reading lady, was featured in the DIA’s acclaimed Van Gogh in America show.

The show opened on October 2 and will be up until January 22. The lawsuit claims that Brokerarte Capital Partners paid $3.7 million for the painting in May 2017 and then promptly transferred control of it to another person. Brokerarte consists of one individual, Gustavo Soter.

Attorneys for the plaintiff claim in the complaint that “this (third) party absconded with the painting and Plaintiff has been unsure of its whereabouts for years.” It seems Soter only lately found out that it might be found in the DIA.

Legal Action Seeks $5 Million A Stolen Van Gogh Painting is Shown in a Detroit Museum
Legal Action Seeks $5 Million A Stolen Van Gogh Painting is Shown in a Detroit Museum

The complaint was submitted to the Eastern District of Michigan of the United States District Court on January 10. The current market value of the picture is about $5 million. Brokerarte’s lawyers have urged the justice system to move promptly. Insisting on prompt action, the speaker said, “The time for inaction is over.

On January 22, 2023, the Van Gogh in America exhibition at the DIA will come to a close. The Painting will be removed from the DIA’s possession and made inaccessible to Plaintiff once the show concludes, they stated.

U.S. District Judge George Steeh agreed Wednesday to issue an immediate order prohibiting the DIA from “damaging, destroying, hiding, disposing of, transporting, or utilizing as to substantially damage its worth” the painting. Until the hearing on January 19, the order will remain in effect.

Legal Action Seeks $5 Million A Stolen Van Gogh Painting is Shown in a Detroit Museum
Legal Action Seeks $5 Million A Stolen Van Gogh Painting is Shown in a Detroit Museum

The 74 authentic Van Gogh works on display at the DIA’s Van Gogh in America exhibition were loaned to the museum by museums and private collectors, a process that took exhibition organizers six years to complete.

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