Dr. Pascal Decker on Deutsche Welle and Focus Online

In an interview with Verena Greb from Deutsche Welle, dtb partner and art lawyer Dr Pascal Decker talks about whether a stolen painting by Kandinsky may have been auctioned off at the Berlin auction house Grisebach.


The painting went under the hammer for just under 310,000 euros. At the same auction, Max Beckmann's "Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa" was also sold for 20 million euros. The Polish embassy in Berlin claims that the painting by Kandinsky was stolen from the Warsaw National Museum in 1984.


In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Dr Pascal Decker firmly assumes that the databases of stolen paintings were properly checked at the Grisebach auction house. It is known that the consignor and art patron Maren Otto from Hamburg acquired the painting from Galerie Thomas in Munich in 1988. Decker currently sees no reason to doubt Mrs Otto's good faith. Thus, even in the event of a theft in Warsaw, it is likely that the consignor "usucapted" ownership of the painting as a result of good faith and thus gained ownership. This is possible under German law.


To the entire DW article (in German)