Modern history essay questions Garfinkel Essay Scholarship is offered to CUNY Community College students. Throughout history, and particularly during World War II, cultural objects have been looted from museums and private families. In the name of justice, a global effort is underway to restore art objects to their rightful owners. We ask you to explore the role of the courts, and especially the role our NYS courts play, in reuniting families and institutions with possessions wrongly taken from them.
Below are a series of questions to help guide your research into this important and ongoing topic. You may select from one or more of these questions or come up with your own topics. Here is a fact pattern from an actual case that reached the highest court in NYS, the Court of Appeals. It is followed by a series of questions to help guide you in learning about the role of the NY Courts in the quest to reunite Lea’s precious painting with her heirs. Lea Bondi Jaray, a Jewish woman, was forced to flee her home in Austria with nothing more than she could carry. Her painting was taken from her by the Nazi regime.
Prior to her death, she attempted to recover the painting, but to no avail. Her nephew, Henry Bondi, attempted to recover the painting in 1997 while it was on exhibit in New York on loan, from the Leopold Foundation, at the Museum of Modern Art. The museum did not return the painting and on January 7, 1998, the Manhattan District Attorney served MoMA with a subpoena demanding the return of the paintings. The Museum refused and filed suit to invalidate the subpoena. Do you think the Court was correct? What was the reasoning of the Court’s decision?