Do you know the provenance of your institution’s fine art?
An alumnus wants to give back to his college, so he donates a drawing by Rembrandt van Rijn that he acquired through an art dealer 10 years ago. School leaders accept the drawing and hang it prominently in the campus museum.
Years later, a historian researching artwork stolen by the Nazis during World War II sees the piece and inquiries about its origins. University staffers dig into the work’s history and discover a suspicious gap in the chain of ownership between 1933 and 1945.
What should university leaders do? What risks and ethical responsibilities does the drawing now pose for the school?