Wednesday 9 May 2012

Gershwin's Brother's Letters and SLAM

I read of this case and thought of a US judge's dismissal of a suit to allow the US government to confiscate the Ka Nefer Nefer mask from St Louis Art Museum. His justification was on the grounds that the government's complaint failed to articulate how the mask was stolen and smuggled, or how it was brought into the United States "contrary to law," the court ruled. Meanwhile:
The daughter of George Gershwin’s biographer is suing to block the sale of 135 letters sent by Gershwin’s brother, Ira, to her dad - and which she says vanished mysteriously from her family’s Manhattan home. Carla Jablonski charges in court papers she wasn’t even aware Ira Gershwin’s letters to Edward Jablonski - author of several books about the Brooklyn-born composer - were missing until last month, when a librarian at the Library of Congress told her a memorabilia dealer was seeking $325,000 for them. [...] A Manhattan judge temporarily blocked the sale and scheduled a hearing for May 15. Jablonski said [the dealer] has no business selling the letters — but stopped well short of accusing him of theft. “His possession of them is illegal,” she claimed in the papers. “They were stolen from my home, although I do not know for a fact who stole them or when it happened.”
It seems to me this is an analogous case, yet one judge is hearing it, while the other initially refused to.

UPDATE 12.05.12: The two sides seem to have come to a settlement: Court clears way for sale of Ira Gershwin letters

Barbara Ross and Corky Siemaszko, ' Daughter of George Gershwin biographer sues to stop sale of letters' , New York Daily News  May 9, 2012

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