Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting should be returned to the family of its former owner by Sompo Holdings Inc., the Japanese insurer that bought the famous artwork despite its tainted Nazi-era past, according to a lawsuit filed by the heirs.
They’re seeking more than $1 billion in damages for the oil drawing, which made its way to Japan about 35 years ago after it was sold at auction for almost $40 million — the highest price ever paid for a painting at the time.
Van Gogh’s Sunflowers displayed at Sompo Museum of Art in Tokyo.
Photographer: Toshiaki Shimizu/AP Photo
Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, a prominent banker in Germany, was forced to relinquish the ...