The Rhode Island School of Design is denying the claim that a painting by Pablo Picasso at the museum was stolen by the Nazis from a Jewish art collector’s mansion in occupied France.
The Providence Journal reports that the RISD said Monday research has shown while Picasso’s “Seated Woman with a Book” was once in Alphonse Kann’s mansion, the painting was never looted by the Nazis. The museum says it bought the painting for $1,600 in 1951 from a gallery that had dealt with Kann and his estate on other artwork.
The museum says while it is unclear how the gallery acquired the painting, it did pay the gallery a fair price.
The RISD says it has shared its research with Kann’s heirs. The Alphonse Kann Association was unable to be reached for comment.