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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 09:12 GMT
Taylor artwork lawsuit dismissed
Elizabeth Taylor
The legal battle began in October 2004
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Elizabeth Taylor over a Van Gogh painting a German family claimed had been stolen by the Nazis.

The 1889 artwork was bought by actress Ms Taylor at auction in 1963.

The descendents of Margarete Mauthner, a Jewish woman who fled Nazi Germany, sought its return under the US Holocaust Victims Redress Act.

But a judge ruled that state law says legal action must be filed within three years of property being taken.

The painting, entitled View of the Asylum and Chapel at Saint-Remy, was originally bought at Sotheby's auction house in London for $257,000 (138,362).

Rightful owner

It now hangs in Liz Taylor's Los Angeles home and is thought to be worth about $15m (8m).

Margarete Mauthner's South African and Canadian descendants filed a suit in October 2004, claiming the work had been confiscated from her by the Nazis and should be returned under the 1998 Holocaust Act.

Liz Taylor then counter-sued, claiming to be the rightful owner of the painting, and stated it had passed through two other galleries and another collector - who had also fled Nazi Germany - before it had come into her possession.

Ms Mauthner's descendants claim Ms Taylor must have known that the painting had been taken by Nazi officials when she bought it.

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