Appeal of decision on Rupert Bunny painting

Posted on: May 16, 2014 by

This week, the Court of Appeal of Victoria in Australia, rendered an appeal decision regarding a painting by the celebrated Australian impressionist Rupert Bunny. The work has sometimes been referred to as ‘Female Reading in Sun”.Rupert Bunny - Levy v Watt

The case, Levy v. Watt [2014] VSCA 60, which came down on 14 May 2014, involved an analysis of the limitation period as it applies in Victoria, most especially in regards to the effect of fraudulent concealment in postponing any such limitation period under the Limitation of Actions Act 1958 (Vic).

The painting had been stolen from its owner and ended up years later in the possession of the appellant. The appellant alleged that the six-year limitation period had expired, but the court at first instance had rejected this postulation. That decision was upheld on appeal.