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Littlefield Panther - legal ownership challenge.
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Pzkpfw-e
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:23 am
Post subject: Littlefield Panther - legal ownership challenge.

wyborcza.pl/1,75248,92...o_USA.html

Rough translation

The extraordinary story of the tank, which disappeared 20 years ago, immediately after extraction from the Black Nida near Bieleckich Mills. There are many indications that the panther was exported to the United States, where it is to be renovated and run as a great attraction. In Poland, the prosecutor's office investigated the matter, it also took the CBS

This story begins in mid-January 1945, when the Red Army advanced along the direction of Kielce, and its offensive on the Nida tried to stop the German armored units. During these struggles Pz.Kampf.V Tank Ausf. A Panther is stuck in the river near Bieleckich Mills (gm. Morawica). In the 50s Polish People's Army under the orders blasted its turret, but the nearly complete hull remained in place until 16 November 1990. Then, weighing around 30 tons, the wreckage was brought out on behalf of a private company. With helped from the technical security carts with a military unit Bukowiec. It turned out that the wreck is in a surprisingly good condition - it had all-wheel drive, all equipment inside. Experts have noted that it is quite unusual version of the panther, it is possible that a prototype.

The tank on the carriage was transported to Warsaw, then virtually disappeared. Even in 1991 there were some reports that it could get abroad as scrap, and journalists "Words of the People" described that involved the extraction of such operating in Kielce an association, while the army has made the extraction of the exercise.

Surprisingly, late last year began to investigate the matter Tank Central Bureau of Investigation. - Sam, I was surprised because it's so many years. But police said that the case was classified as a theft of cultural property, and it is not barred - anonymous informant tells Gazeta. For closure of this issue Police Chief spokesman did not respond to questions on this matter.

There are many indications that the procedure is carried out after doniesieniu made by Piotr Lewandowski, a lawyer, a private military enthusiast. - For several years trying to interest various authorities in this matter. After all, our country illegally were taken away a very valuable exhibit, and the circumstances in which this occurred, is at least strange - says Lewandowski. He argues that the tank completely excavated illegally on behalf of a private company from Warsaw. Interestingly, this would help, among others positive opinion of experts, the Higher Military School of Automobile, who found that it is worthless scrap. The documents, which arrived Lewandowski, shows that in return promised to provide some exhibits for the Museum. White Eagle in Skarzysko. - But the general conservator had agreed to deportation tank. Nevertheless, the wreck disappeared - emphasizes Lewandowski. Interestingly, after the interventions studied the matter twice in Kielce District Prosecutor. Last time last year. In April, interviewed, among others owners of a company that would handle the extraction of the wreck. - Indeed, the District Prosecutor Kielce-West to pursue a case on the illegal deportation tank, but they were dismissed because the case is przedawni?a - says S?awomir Mielniczuk, a spokesman for District Prosecutor's Office in Kielce.

- After that I made subsequent redemption notice, but this time the group, which probably deals with the wholesale export of such cultural property. Letter was sent to the chief of police, suggesting that the issue addressed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the national team to fight crime against national heritage. I suspect that this resulted in a visit to CBS in the region Swietokrzyskie - says Lewandowski.

"Kielce" panther, probably around 2000 by Britain came to the United States. He bought it for his collection of Jacques Littlefield, a millionaire and passionate. On the internet you can find videos and photos of the tank and the information that has been redeemed from the Polish owner, and recovered from the Black Nida. With over 2 million dollars had been carefully renovated, reconstructing the tower, and even installed the original engine. Today, this tank is a lot of rides and attractions. - My dream is that once the tank returned to Polish - not hide Lewandowski.
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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:01 pm
Post subject: Re: Littlefield Panther - legal ownership challenge.

Hmmm...

It's hard to be sure, but it sounds to me like it was recovered and sold by (possibly corrupt?) officials in the 90s. Now 20 years later someone powerful has decided that they want to undo the deal. It sounds a lot like 'sour grapes'.

I suspect that even if the investigators manage to gather a case, this will spend at least another 20 years in court. Winning the case in an American court is going to be an uphill battle. At the end, even if they win, the Poles will have to buy the restored Panther back for whatever Littlefield has sunk in the project. That's likely to be a lot of cash.

Chuck

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:29 pm
Post subject: Re: Littlefield Panther - legal ownership challenge.

- C_Sherman
Hmmm...

It's hard to be sure, but it sounds to me like it was recovered and sold by (possibly corrupt?) officials in the 90s. Now 20 years later someone powerful has decided that they want to undo the deal. It sounds a lot like 'sour grapes'.

I suspect that even if the investigators manage to gather a case, this will spend at least another 20 years in court. Winning the case in an American court is going to be an uphill battle. At the end, even if they win, the Poles will have to buy the restored Panther back for whatever Littlefield has sunk in the project. That's likely to be a lot of cash.

Chuck


On the order of $2M, as I understand it, and that's probably low. The MVTF is likely pretty well-endowed even after Jacques' passing, and I wouldn't want to be the one to mount a legal challenge against whatever firm he'd worked with in this life.
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Smashy
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:34 am
Post subject: Re: Littlefield Panther - legal ownership challenge.

- Doug_Kibbey

On the order of $2M, as I understand it, and that's probably low. The MVTF is likely pretty well-endowed even after Jacques' passing, and I wouldn't want to be the one to mount a legal challenge against whatever firm he'd worked with in this life.


There won't be much left of the 'well endowed' by the time the lawyers have finished. I would suspect some sort of compromise will be reached to avoid bankrupting the foundation.

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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:32 am
Post subject: Re: Littlefield Panther - legal ownership challenge.

- Smashy
- Doug_Kibbey

On the order of $2M, as I understand it, and that's probably low. The MVTF is likely pretty well-endowed even after Jacques' passing, and I wouldn't want to be the one to mount a legal challenge against whatever firm he'd worked with in this life.


There won't be much left of the 'well endowed' by the time the lawyers have finished. I would suspect some sort of compromise will be reached to avoid bankrupting the foundation.


For that to be the case, Poland will have to hire a high profile US law firm. That will not be cheap so I don't see that happening.

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Michel_Krauss
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:36 am
Post subject: Re: Littlefield Panther - legal ownership challenge.

- Rikard_Hufschmied
- Smashy
- Doug_Kibbey

On the order of $2M, as I understand it, and that's probably low. The MVTF is likely pretty well-endowed even after Jacques' passing, and I wouldn't want to be the one to mount a legal challenge against whatever firm he'd worked with in this life.


There won't be much left of the 'well endowed' by the time the lawyers have finished. I would suspect some sort of compromise will be reached to avoid bankrupting the foundation.


For that to be the case, Poland will have to hire a high profile US law firm. That will not be cheap so I don't see that happening.


That is something that could happen, depending if Poland is willing to create an example to scare others.

Even if it would cost Poland $100M over 20 years (and in comparison that is not much or a long time for a country), that is much more then the foundation is able to spend in time or money

And Poland is not the only country with such problems, they could be joined by some other countries to put up a statement

Michel

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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:35 pm
Post subject: Re: Littlefield Panther - legal ownership challenge.

Hi,

At least based on the facts here, Poland is unlikely to prevail if they do take this to court. I suspect that "the officials were corrupt and not allowed to do that" won't hold a lot of water, as long as the buyers can demonstrate good faith efforts to obtain clear title. Nations are expected to police their own bureaucracy, for the most part.

Living here on the border of Mexico, we've seen a lot of transactions involving corrupt Mexican officials, and the response is usually a matter of national law. The Mexicans haven't had much luck in overturning such transactions once it crosses the international border, unless an American law was also broken in the process.

Very expensive, and very long.

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Tichenor
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:46 am
Post subject: Re: Littlefield Panther - legal ownership challenge.

- C_Sherman
Winning the case in an American court is going to be an uphill battle.

General consensus is that the trail takes place where de delict has occured, not where the accused or the goods in question are. In this case that would be Poland, and that makes it an entire other game to play.

At the end, even if they win, the Poles will have to buy the restored Panther back for whatever Littlefield has sunk in the project

Again not agree, the buyer has to prove he had no knowledge of the "history" of the goods. As there aren't many Panthers on the market its al going to depend on the judge.

However, as I conclude from the artikel its about a quest from a singel individual and far from a trail. I even think there already has been a trail in Poland about this case, maybe Rafal can shed some light on this.

Michel
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Pzkpfw-e
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:22 am
Post subject: Re: Littlefield Panther - legal ownership challenge.

If it does get dirty, I'm sure that the HMVF could offer them a tank or two for their museums.
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bialy-r
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:20 am
Post subject: Re: Littlefield Panther - legal ownership challenge.

To cut this topic.

Nobody believe that the Panther come back to Poland.

In Poland the police shat down the investigation because flow of time.

In this case is only evolved one person Mr Lewandowski (none museum, foundation, institution). Is a little chance that this case get to court in USA and I think none chance that Foundation can loss the Panther or must paid for it.

There would be a chance if that would be a work of art which was lost during WWII or stolen in Poland. But we talk about wreck of tank which is now worth something only because Mr. Littlefield took a great effort to renovate it.

No institution in Poland will go to court because the cost of it are to expensive and the resolute is doubly. Even if in some impossible way the court say that the tank must go back to Poland, there won’t be no materials to give the money back that Mr Littlefield pumped it the wreck during renovation process.


Be honest we can get back the Polish TKS which is in Kubinka (Russia) so in what way we can get back something that was a wreck of a German tank.

In Poland are still two panther tanks hulls and 50% of people interested in history in Poland say that is good that the panther went to USA because in here it wouldn't be restored and still rusting on open air.


I suggest to close the topic
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