Osen LLC in the News
Art for Art's Sake
Cindy Schlanger is part of an exclusive cadre of lawyers; those who reclaim stolen artworks on behalf of their rightful owners.
Schlanger, of the Osen firm in Oradell, helped score a breakthrough Tuesday in a dispute over a $6 million collection of German art posters stolen by the Gestapo in 1937. The 4,000 vintage advertising posters were turned over to the Duetsches Historisches Museum in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Schlanger's client, Peter Sachs of Sarasota, Fla., from whose father the art was stolen, sued in Berlin for its return. Invoking the Washington Principles, formed at the 1998 Conference on Holocaust Looted Assets, the court declared Sachs the owner of a poster by Thomas Theodor Heine. More importantly, the ruling sets the precedent for another action claiming the rest of the collection.
Schlanger, one of a handful of lawyers across the country specializing in recovering stolen art, works with German co-counsel in such cases and describes her role as "a lot of piecing things together, collecting information, tracking things down."
Sachs may have sought her out based on the publicity her firm drew from its work on a $117 million settlement recovered in 2007 for owners of a Berlin department store seized by the Nazis.
"There's an extra level of satisfaction because of the nature of these cases," she says.
New Jersey Law Journal, February 16, 2009 - Charles Toutant