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Crime & Litigation



France hands over suspected Jewish Museum gunman to Belgium

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Written by AFP wire service   
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 09:19

2009 photo of the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in Brussels. Credit: Michael Wal, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and1.0 Generic license.

BRUSSELS (AFP) – France handed over to Belgium on Tuesday the man suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting in May at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

A spokeswoman for the Belgian police told AFP that Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent, "has arrived" in Brussels.

"He will be interrogated," added spokeswoman Tine Hollevoet, who declined all further details.

Belgian media said Nemmouche faced four and a half hours of questioning over the killing of a Jewish couple, a Frenchwoman, and a Belgian man, at the museum on May 24, but that he remained largely silent.

His lawyer, Sebastien Courtoy, told the media that Nemmouche was irritated by the leaking to the press of statements he has made during police questioning in the last two months.

"He doesn't want to read his statements the next day in the press," Courtoy said. "That is the reason, and the only reason, why he's refusing to answer questions."

"We want investigators who violate the law and organize these leaks to be withdrawn," the lawyer added.

France's final appeals court last week cleared his extradition for questioning over the May 24 killings of a Jewish couple, a Frenchwoman and a Belgian man at the downtown Brussels museum.

Nemmouche initially had filed an appeal against his extradition but then dropped his objection after guarantees that he would not be sent on to another country such as Israel from Belgium, according to his lawyer.

The shooting – the first such attack in Brussels in three decades – raised fears of a resurgence of anti-Semitic violence in Europe and of terror attacks from foreign fighters returning from Syria.

Nemmouche had spent more than a year fighting with Islamic extremists in Syria.

He was arrested on May 30 in the southern French city of Marseille after being spotted in a bus from Brussels.

A revolver and Kalashnikov rifle were found in his luggage, resembling weapons caught on a museum video-camera, as was a portable camera.

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 13:59
 

Greece’s antiquities protection department arrests one of its own

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 25 July 2014 10:38

'Antinous,' an example of Roman Hellenistic sculpture at the Delphi Archaeological Museum in Greece. Image by Ricardo Andre Frantz. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ A police officer from Greece's antiquities protection department has been arrested and accused of being part of a smuggling ring that was trying to sell an ancient marble statue worth an estimated 1 million euros ($1.35 million).

Police said on Thursday that the 49-year-old officer was arrested with eight other suspects, following raids and searches at 11 areas in greater Athens and two others in towns in central and northern Greece.

The almost intact 1,900-year-old Greco-Roman era statue of a male figure measures 65 centimeters (25.5 inches) from head-to-knee, and is being kept at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

Police did not say whether the statue had been stolen or illegally excavated, but added that a "large number" of less valuable ancient artifacts had also been seized.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-07-24-14 1444GMT




ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

'Antinous,' an example of Roman Hellenistic sculpture at the Delphi Archaeological Museum in Greece. Image by Ricardo Andre Frantz. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. 

Last Updated on Friday, 25 July 2014 11:00
 

Hall of Famer Jim Brown sues Lelands over '64 championship ring

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 24 July 2014 15:50
Autographed photo of Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Saco River Auction Co.

NEW YORK (AP) – Hall of Fame football star Jim Brown – running out of time to retrieve his 1964 NFL championship ring – has sued a memorabilia dealer.

The 78-year-old Los Angeles resident filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Manhattan federal court against Lelands.com and Lelands Collectibles Inc.

The lawsuit seeks to halt the sale of the ring in an online auction that ends Friday. It also seeks unspecified damages over broadcast remarks that Lelands' founder, Joshua Evans, made about Brown.

A message left Wednesday with Evans was not immediately returned.

According to the lawsuit, the ring was stolen from Brown's Cleveland home in the late 1960s and the robbery was reported to the police.

The lawsuit also accused Evans of making statements in print and broadcast interviews in recent weeks that implied Brown has diminished mental capacity as a result of taking thousands of hits as a football player. On at least one broadcast, though, Evans could be heard describing Brown as the greatest football player of all time and saying Brown was aware that a family member had sold the ring in the 1990s.

The lawsuit said the ring is priceless to the former Cleveland Browns player. The highest bid was $58,948 Wednesday afternoon.

Brown, who works as a Browns special adviser, rushed for 12,312 yards and scored 106 touchdowns in nine seasons before retiring at the peak of his career in 1965. In 1964, he rushed for 1,446 yards and scored seven touchdowns as the Browns won the championship – the last for any major Cleveland sports franchise.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-WF-07-23-14 2013GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Autographed photo of Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Saco River Auction Co.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 16:10
 

Possible Degas, Rodin sculptures found in German art hoard

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Written by AFP wire service   
Thursday, 24 July 2014 08:39
Franz Marc's (1880-1916) 'Pferde in Landschaft' (Horses in Landscape), circa 1911, gouache on paper, was among the looted artworks passed down from Hildebrand Gurlitt to his son, Cornelius Gurlitt. BERLIN (AFP) – Sculptures thought to be by masters Degas and Rodin have been found in the flat of the late German art collector whose priceless hoard included Nazi-looted works, investigators said Thursday.

Images of the works, once their origins are verified, will be published in the online inventory www.lostart.de to help trace their rightful owners in case they were once plundered by the Nazis, said the task force in charge of the investigation.

The sculptures were only recently found in the Munich flat of Cornelius Gurlitt, the reclusive son of a Nazi-era art dealer. Gurlitt died in May at age 81, after the discovery of his vast collection drew worldwide attention last year.

Before his death, Gurlitt struck an accord with the German government to help track down the rightful owners of pieces in his trove of 1,280 paintings, drawings and sketches, including Jews whose property was stolen or extorted under the Third Reich.

The works – including masterpieces by Picasso and Monet – were seized in early 2012 when they were discovered by chance during a tax evasion probe.

The latest works, a far smaller find, were only discovered after his death, by Munich probate court officials who were sent to secure Gurlitt's estate, the task force statement said.

The new find includes “a sculpture that is probably by Edgar Degas and a marble sculpture that, after a first inspection, may be a work of the French artist Auguste Rodin,” said the task force.

Its head, Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel, promised “thorough research work and a transparent presentation of the new discovery” in the interest of “the victims of Nazi art theft as well as the heirs of Cornelius Gurlitt.”



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Franz Marc's (1880-1916) 'Pferde in Landschaft' (Horses in Landscape), circa 1911, gouache on paper, was among the looted artworks passed down from Hildebrand Gurlitt to his son, Cornelius Gurlitt.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 08:52
 

Recovered Matisse goes on view in Venezuela

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Written by AFP wire service   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 10:45
Henri Matisse (French, 1869-2004), 'Odalisque in Red Pants,' painted in 1925, now back in the hands of its rightful owner, the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art in Caracas, Venezuela. CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) – A painting by Henri Matisse stolen more than a decade ago in Caracas and later recovered in an FBI sting is on display again in the Venezuelan capital.

The Odalisque in Red Pants, worth around $3 million, was exhibited Tuesday for the first time in more than a decade at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

It had been replaced with a fake sometime between 1999 and 2002 and it was only in 2003 that Venezuelan authorities realized the original had been stolen.

The artwork was recovered in Miami Beach in 2012 in an FBI undercover operation.

U.S. citizen Pedro Antonio Marcuello Guzman and Maria Martha Elisa Ornelas Lazo, a Mexican, were convicted for attempting to sell the stolen painting.

Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz told an opening ceremony that her office would pursue an investigation of the theft.

"I want to give my word to all lovers of the arts that our office is going to lead an investigation to determine liability for those who conspired to steal this painting," she said.

U.S. and Venezuelan authorities cooperated on the case despite tense bilateral relations.

Painted in 1925 by the French Impressionist master, the work shows a dark-haired woman sitting on her heels, topless and wearing red pants.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Henri Matisse (French, 1869-2004), 'Odalisque in Red Pants,' painted in 1925, now back in the hands of its rightful owner, the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art in Caracas, Venezuela.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 10:58
 
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