Judge will determine Renoir painting's owner

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm •  Published: April 5, 2013
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"Because I am not an art historian, collector, appraiser, or dealer, I lacked the expertise to identify the Renoir Painting's authenticity, origins or previous ownership history," she wrote.

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that Fuqua's 84-year-old mother, who operated an art school for decades in Fairfax County under the name Marcia Fouquet, is an artist who specialized in reproducing paintings from Renoir and other masters. The Post said Fouquet had artistic links to Baltimore in the 1950s, when the painting was stolen, and graduated from Goucher College with a fine arts degree in 1952.

A man who identified himself as Fuqua's brother, Owen M. Fuqua, told the Post that the painting had been in the family for 50 or 60 years and that "all I know is my sister didn't just go buy it at a flea market."

The man later retracted his story, and ultimately said it was another person using his name who gave the initial interview.

Efforts by the AP Friday to reach Martha and Owen Fuqua Friday were unsuccessful. Martha Fuqua's lawyer did not return a call Friday seeking comment.

The FBI has an ongoing investigation, according to spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin.

Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema ordered all parties seeking to claim ownership of the painting to make their case in written pleadings later this month.