An East German church seeking to recover medieval art treasures stolen during World War II now says a Texas family may have moved or hidden some of the artworks in the past two weeks.
The church raised the allegations in a motion filed Friday in Dallas. It contends some of the items may have been moved Monday, hours after the church filed a federal lawsuit seeking the return of the artworks.The church asked U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater to schedule a preliminary hearing Thursday to hear expert testimony and arguments for extension of a temporary order that bars movement of the treasures.
Church lawyers contend that siblings Jack Meador and Jane Meador Cook have been "linked to more than half" of more than 18 items taken near Quedlinburg, East Germany, when U.S. Army troops occupied the area in 1945.
The Meadors' late brother, Joe Meador, was a first lieutenant in a unit that occupied the area where the treasures were hidden. Joe Meador died in 1980.
He is believed to have taken the trove, which included illuminated manuscripts, crucifixes and bejeweled gold ceremonial boxes given to the church by Germany's earliest kings. He allegedly moved them to Wrightwright, in East Texas, after being discharged in 1946.