Appeals court sides with Yale over van Gogh painting’s owner

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NEW HAVEN —A federal appeals court has sided with Yale University in a dispute over the ownership of a $200 million Vincent van Gogh painting.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week upheld a 2014 ruling by a lower court that dismissed the claims of Pierre Konowaloff. He says the Dutch painter’s “The Night Cafe” was stolen from his family during the Russian Revolution.

Yale has had the painting since 1961. It sued in 2009 to block Konowaloff from claiming it.

The federal judge who backed Yale last year cited doctrine in which U.S. courts don’t examine the validity of foreign governments’ expropriation orders. In its decision, the appeals court says the lower court acted appropriately.

Yale says it’s pleased by the decision.

Konowaloff’s lawyer didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.