Lea Bondi Jaray Case

253 A.D.2d 211 (1999)

Lea Bondi Jaray, a Jewish woman, was forced to flee her home in Austria with nothing more than she could carry. She left behind one of her most precious assets, a painting entitled, “Portrait of Wally” by Egon Shiele. Her painting was taken from her by the Nazi regime. Prior to her death, she attempted to recover the painting, but to no avail. Her nephew, Henry Bondi, attempted to recover the painting in 1997 while it was on exhibit in New York on loan, from the Leopold Foundation, at the Museum of Modern Art. The museum did not return the painting and on January 7, 1998, the Manhattan District Attorney served MoMA with a subpoena demanding the return of the paintings. The Museum refused and filed suit to invalidate the subpoena.

Summary of the Case PDF

Lower Court Opinion

Appellate Division Opinion

Court of Appeals Opinion

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