The United States Law Week

Sotheby’s Loses Suit Against Greece Over Antique Horse Figurine

June 9, 2020, 3:56 PM

A lawsuit by Sotheby’s challenging Greece’s claim to ownership over an antique bronze horse figurine failed because the country’s claim to it wasn’t connected to a “commercial activity” under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, the Second Circuit said.

The auction house announced that it planned to put up for bid a “Corinthian type” horse figurine dating to the 8th century BC on behalf of the 2012 Saretta Barnet Revocable Trust. The estimated auction price was $150,000 to $250,000.

The Greek Ministry of Culture sent a letter to Sotheby’s stating that the figurine belonged to Greece under its patrimony laws, which...

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