It’s been almost ten years that Alexander Khochinsky fights with the Polish government for a history table stolen. The art dealer american was arrested on Monday by the authorities of the airport Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle. According to his lawyer Nicholas O’donnell, interviewed by he tried to take a flight to New York while Poland had asked Interpol for his extradition, in the context of a conflict on the ownership of a painting by Antoine Pesne, Girl with a dove (1754), which would have been looted by the nazis.

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Alexander Khochinsky was then released, with the prohibition to leave French soil, before a scheduled hearing on march 6 before the house of instruction of the court of appeal of Paris, according to his French lawyer Jean-Jacques Neuer. The court will decide if the art dealer can go or not in the United States. According to his american lawyer, the arrest of his client at Paris, then that he had never had any incidents while travelling in Europe, is not “a coincidence” and represents a “final effort” on the part of the Polish authorities to settle this matter.

In 2010, Alexander Khochinsky contact the Polish authorities when he understands that one of his paintings, inherited from his parents according to him, is a painting reported stolen during the Second world War, the museum Wielkopolskie, Poznan. In exchange for the table, the dealer will request a financial compensation for the land belonging to his ancestors seized during the war, in the Polish city of Przemysl.

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Poland refuses, accuses him of possession of stolen goods, and request the United States to extradite him to continue the prosecution. In 2015, the american justice rejects the request ; according to it, Poland has not proven that Alexander Khochinsky knew the source of origin of the table in its acquisition. Meanwhile, the art dealer was jailed for several months and his reputation tarnished.

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In June 2018, Alexander Khochinsky has filed a complaint against Poland with a court in Washington. His lawyers are demanding compensation for the damage caused and to denounce “the bad faith of the attempt of extradition” Polish. “When Khochinsky has called on Poland to pay for the land seized after his mother fled from his home, Poland has used false allegations to demand his extradition and has almost destroyed his livelihood,” said his lawyer O’donnell.

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