Warwick attorney Phillip Landrigan is involved in a case over the ownership of a $25 million painting with ties to the Panama Papers.
Landrigan is representing the estate of Paris art dealer Oscar Stettiner, which is seeking to have the art-collecting London and New York-based Nahmad family return Amadeo Modigliani's “Seated Man With A Cane, 1918,” which it claims the Nazis seized during World War II.
The recently leaked Panama Papers confirm what the Stettiner family claimed in court years ago, Landrigan said, which is that the painting is held by International Art Center (IAC), a company owned by the Nahmads.
While the more than 11 million leaked documents from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca have implicated many of the world's most rich and powerful, several documents reveal that the Panama-based IAC has been controlled by the Nahmad family for more than 20 years.
Philippe Maestracci is the grandson and sole heir to the Oscar Stettiner estate.
“The ultimate goal is to let Philippe Maestracci gain possession of his grandfather’s painting, and what he does with it afterwards is up to him,” Landrigan said. “Just the historical justice, Philippe Maestracci should be able to spend whatever time he chooses in the same room as the painting that was stolen from his grandfather during the war, just as a matter of what’s right.”
According to BBC, Richard Golub, the lawyer for the family's leader David Nahmad, said it was "irrelevant" who owned IAC.
“What is pertinent is can the claimant prove that the painting belonged to his family,” Golub told Bloomberg News. “The answer we believe is absolutely not.”