|By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The complaint filed in
Such a document is frequently filed by a third party -- in this case, the U.S. government -- that is holding property whose ownership is in dispute. The complaint is asking U.S. District Judge
Those seeking to acquire the painting include the
Other parties include the
Ascher, however, said Friday that she was not interested in pursuing ownership.
"I only got the things that the museum didn't want, and they want this painting," she says. "As far as I'm concerned, it's a closed chapter."
Fuqua, who had previously been identified only as "Renoir Girl," could not be reached Friday afternoon, but her attorney,
For her part,
"This is a fascinating and riveting story, but it's for the courts to decide," Bolger says. "I'm sure that, like me, everyone is looking forward to having this resolved."
It's entirely possible, however, that answers won't come quickly. Supporting documents filed with the claim indicate that the ownership question might be even murkier than was previously believed.
Since Fireman's Fund paid out a
But because insurance companies aren't in the business of owning works of art, most policies issued to museums include a provision for the recovery of stolen paintings, sculptures and ceramics. These clauses generally stipulate the price that the most recent owner -- the
Unfortunately, those 61-year-old records can't be located. The insurance company has records of 27 policies that it issued to the
"A copy of the museum's insurance policy cannot be found," the complaint says, "and it is unknown if a provision for the recovery of stolen art was included in said policy."
Adding to the intrigue is that the Renoir was recently appraised as having a fair-market value of just