Winter Landscape with Skaters, Farm and Mill by Jan Josephsz. van Goyen (1596 – 1656)
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks”
In art recovery work, it is often the case that those who fight the hardest have the most to hide. Chris Marinello acted on behalf of the insurer in this case when the painting was offered for sale at Sotheby’s in London. The consignor was informed that it was stolen in 1999 from a private residence and reported to Dutch Police and Interpol. However, he and his wife refused to cooperate claiming that they were good faith purchasers under Dutch law. Dutch police advised that the consignor had a prior arrest for holding a pistol to his partner’s head and pulling the trigger. The gun jammed and he was spared a murder charge. Needless to say, litigation was commenced in the Netherlands to recover the painting. With the aid of local counsel, the victim and their insurer prevailed and the painting was returned.