Reynolds Seeks OU Art Investigation

The Oklahoman

An Oklahoma lawmaker is asking a national museum-accreditation bureau to investigate the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art over a dispute involving a painting that was looted by Nazi troops during World War II.

In a letter to the organization’s president, Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, called on the American Alliance of Museums to investigate the museum’s accreditation status in light of the recent resignation of the museum’s director.

OU is facing a lawsuit from Leone Meyer, a woman in Paris who is suing the university to recover the painting “Shepherdess Bringing In Sheep.” The 1886 work is by French impressionist artist Camille Pissarro. Meyer alleges that the painting was stolen from her father, a Jewish businessman in Paris, during the Nazi occupation of France.

The painting hangs in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. OU officials have refused to return the work, citing a previous court ruling in Switzerland that denied the family’s claim to the painting based on a technicality. The university doesn’t dispute the fact that the painting was looted from the family during World War II.

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