FARRELL, Pa. — Industrialist Victor Posner has agreed to return 13 Norman Rockwell paintings he took from Sharon Steel Corp. after buying the company in 1969.
The announcement in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Warren Bentz's courtroom last week by Robert Cindrich, a Posner attorney, was the company chairman's first response to a lawsuit seeking return of the paintings.
James W. Toren, a trustee appointed by the court to run Sharon Steel during its Chapter 11 reorganization, filed the suit June 3. As bankruptcy trustee, Toren controls the company's assets, including the paintings.
The paintings depicting scenes from Sharon's plant in Farrell, have hung in Posner's Miami Beach office for nearly 20 years.
Rockwell, best known for his folksy Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations, was 72 and nearing the end of his career when Sharon Steel paid him $50,000 in 1966 to do 14 illustrations. He died in 1978.