On April 24, the University of Oklahoma released a statement that claimed that the painting “La Bergere reentrant des mountons” had returned to France.
Several years ago, it was discovered that this painting was stolen by Nazis during World War II. The rightful owner to the painting, Leone Meyer, eventually had to sue the university to get the painting back. In 2015, Meyer reluctantly agreed to a deal that would see the painting move back and forth between France and the university on the condition that University of Oklahoma President David Boren and the university agree that she is the rightful owner.
“It is absurd that the University of Oklahoma would act as if they have done a noble thing by returning a piece of stolen art to France,” said Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow. “From the moment that The University of Oklahoma discovered the painting was stolen, university administration, led by President David Boren, has fought tooth and nail to prevent this painting from returning to its rightful owner. In order to accommodate a wealthy donor, President Boren went as far as spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep the art away from its rightful owner – a family that was nearly destroyed during one of the darkest periods of humanity.”