MANHATTAN (CN) – The United States sued two men, a framing shop and three insurers to determine who owns the Andrew Wyeth painting “The Woodchopper,” which was stolen in 1982, sparking insurance litigation, acquired by a man in 1997, and turned over to the FBI in 2007.
According to the complaint, Frank Fowler delivered the painting to Larry Shar dba Julius Lowy Frame & Restoring, to be reframed, in 1982. It was stolen from Lowy’s on Feb. 26, 1982.
Lloyd’s of London paid Fowler and sued Lowy’s. Lowy’s and American Centennial Insurance paid Lloyd’s in 1987.
James Berry Hill, director of the Berry-Hill Galleries, acquired the painting in 1997, and the FBI got it from Hill in 2007, the complaint states, without being too specific about any of it. Now the USA has sued everyone involved and asked the Federal Court to straighten things out.