OKLAHOMA CITY —
The OU statement said the university promised the Meyers it would explore their complaint and respond. Rather than allowing time for that review, it stated, Meyer sued and then distributed an open letter to Oklahomans asking for the painting to be returned.
The Meyer family had unsuccessfully sued for the same painting’s return in Switzerland in 1953, before the Weitzenhoffers had acquired it.
“The University and the OU Foundation have continued to investigate the history of the painting in order to respond appropriately to Plaintiff’s adverse ownership claim,” the university said in its statement.
The university said the full history of ownership is not known. It added: “Simply transferring the piece without first knowing all the facts would, among other things, set a very poor precedent and risk disgracing all prior good-faith purchasers and owners of the painting — such as the Weitzenhoffers — whose families were gravely victimized during the war.”
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