OKLAHOMA City – State Rep. Paul Wesselhöft announced Thursday (July 9) that he will be hosting a series of lectures during the next several months to raise more awareness of a stolen Jewish painting being displayed at the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art in Norman.
Wesselhöft has been protesting and encouraging the University of Oklahoma to turn over the painting they hold, an 1886 Camille Pissarro oil painting titled Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep, to Leone Meyer, a Jewish woman from Paris, whose family is the rightful owner, according to Wesselhöft, R-Moore.
“The University has dragged this fight out for years now, and the emotional toll on the Ms. Meyer and her family has been terrible,” said Wesselhöft, R-Moore. “But we are not going anywhere. We are going to see this through until justice for the Meyer family has been won.”
Wesselhöft is partnering with the Holocaust Remembrance and Restitution Society at the University of Oklahoma to host eight scheduled lectures beginning next week through September.
“Our goal as a group is to honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust,” said Society President Eric Sundby, a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma.
“We care deeply about our university, which is why we believe the right thing to do – the honorable thing to do – is to return this painting to its rightful owners. We are proud to work with Rep. Wesselhöft to bring this issue to the forefront.”
Currently scheduled presentations include:
July 13, at 12:00 p.m. at the High Noon Club, which meets at H&H Gun Range off I-40 in Oklahoma City.
July 15, at 11:30 a.m. at the Capital Republican Caucus, which meets at Boulevard Cafeteria.
July 16, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the state Capitol in Room 206.
August 4, at 12:00 p.m. at the Cleveland County GOP Luncheon Club, which meets at the Golden Corral Restaurant in Norman.
August 18, at 6:00 p.m. at the Cleveland County Republican Woman’s Club, which meets at Olive Garden in Norman
September 10, at 6:00 p.m. at the Sooner Republican Assembly, which meets at Earls’ Barbeque Restaurant in Moore.
September 14, at 7:00 p.m. at the Liberty Republican Women’s Group, which meets at Western Sizzlin Moore I-35 and 12th Street.
Wesselhöft said more lectures could be added to the schedule. A recent Helen Mirren film, “Woman in Gold” focused on the best-known of such stolen art treasures.
The general public and members of the news media are encouraged to attend the July 16 event at the state Capitol.