New Developments Surrounding Allegations Of Stolen Art At OU
NORMAN, Oklahoma - A dispute over a valuable French painting took center stage Tuesday night at the Warren Theater. It pits the University of Oklahoma against a French family that claims they once owned that art.
Former State Rep. Mike Reynolds hosted a screening of the new movie “Woman in Gold.” It's about a Jewish woman's fight to get back a family painting that was stolen by the Nazi's during the Holocaust.
Reynolds says that mirrors what's been going on with a French painting called “Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep.” A wealthy Oklahoma family donated it to OU back in 2000.
A French woman is suing OU to get it back, because she says the Nazi's stole it from her family during World War II.
“It's so wrong for people to hide behind technicalities and not do the right thing,” Reynolds said Tuesday night.
Reynolds and State Rep. Paul Wesselhoft have led the fight against OU.
University Spokesperson Catherine Bishop emailed News 9 a statement Tuesday afternoon that reads in part, “The donors of the painting undisputedly purchased the painting from a reputable dealer, with legitimate verified title. There has been no evidence that the family or the University were somehow involved or complicit with any inappropriate activity.”
State Rep. Leslie Osborn begs to differ.
“My understanding is yes, it was bought at an auction. But after it was pilfered from a Jewish family in France and made its way to that auction house at a later time,” she said. “If there's a chance, why not open it up to a third-party investigation.”