Federal Court Judge Rules That “$7.00” Renoir May Return to Baltimore Museum of Art

Center for Art Law

The curious tale of the “miracle” $7.00 Renoir is at an end—at least for now.

On January 10, 2014, , ending a year-long ownership dispute, U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia judge Leonie M. Brinkema granted a summary judgment motion in favor of the Baltimore Museum of Art (the “Museum” or the “BMA”), ruling that a small landscape painted by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) allegedly purchased at a flea market, should be released into the Museum’s custody.

Since October 2012, a custody battle over the work has been waged between the Baltimore Museum of Art and Martha Fuqua, a Virginia resident, who claimed that she unwittingly purchased the painting for $7.00 at the Harpers Ferry Flea Market in 2009. According to Fuqua , she was only interested in the golden frame the painting and failing to realize that she was getting a Renoir. She had planned to put…

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