California Attorney General Jerry Brown on Wednesday said he filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing in favor of a Connecticut woman's legal attempt to get two paintings looted by Nazis during World War II. One of the pieces, “Eve,” appears to be the inspiration for artwork displayed at the beginning of ABC's Desperate Housewives each week.
The 500-year-old artwork was purchased 40 years ago by the Norton Simon Museum of Art in Pasadena, where the panels remain. Brown's “friend-of-the-court” filing sides with Marei Von Saher, who is suing for the return of Lucas Cranach's two-panel work — “Adam and Eve.” The pieces are believed to be worth $24 million.
The panels are believed to have been kept by top Nazi leader Hermann Göring for a time before they were sent to Pasadena.
A relative of Von Saher had the works at an Amsterdam gallery that was raided by Nazis. Although American troops seized the paintings in 1945 and returned them, they somehow ended up at the Norton Simon in 1971.
“It is only right that California be allowed to give victims additional time to untangle the historical record in cases linked to the darkest chapter in European history,” Brown states. “Despite the passage of so many years, justice will be served by finally permitting this matter to be heard in a court of law.”
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