Claude Cassirer with his wife, Beverly. (AP/Mark Duncan) (AP/Mark Duncan)
Claude Cassirer


This circa 1930 photo shows the Berlin apartment of Lilly Cassirer, with the 1897 masterpiece by Camille Pissarro on the wall at center rear. (Cassirer Family)

The Cassirer family has filed an appeal hoping to retrieve the 1897 Pissarro masterpiece they claim is theirs after a court ruled that a museum in Spain owns the Nazi-looted painting.

A Jewish family has appealed a federal California judge’s ruling declaring that a museum in Spain is the rightful owner of a painting seized from a woman fleeing Nazi Germany in 1939.

Ava and David Cassirer, whose great-grandmother Lilly was forced to hand over the Pissarro to the Nazi government in 1939, have filed suit to regain the painting from its current owner, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid.

The Cassirer family filed an appeal of U.S. District Judge John Walter’s ruling on Friday.

Walter ruled earlier this month that the museum owns the 1897 Pissarro masterpiece, “Rue Saint-Honore, Apres-Midi, Effet de Pluie,” under Spanish law. He dismissed a lawsuit against the museum by the Cassirer family, whose ancestor was forced to give up the painting to the Nazis.

An attorney for the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid has said the institution acquired the painting in good faith and has had it on public display for more than 20 years.

The family’s attorney argues that the museum’s position is morally and legally wrong.

By: AP