With apologies to William Poundstone whose post ought to be read in its entirety, this LA Times story about his revelation that LACMA deaccessioned a disputed Goya painting that ended up in the possession of Imelda Marcos offers a quicker summary:
Poundstone and the museum have done a little digging and have turned up the painting’s whereabouts: It was part of a trove of artworks that the Philippine government seized from former First Lady Imelda Marcos back in 2014. That’d be Imelda, wife of a dictator, proprietress of an extravagant shoe collection. Cue the jaw drop.
It turns out that LACMA deaccessioned the piece in 1978 over questions about its quality. (The Prado Museum in Spain reportedly has a better version of the piece.) At that point, the work was sold to dealers at Marlborough in London. It was only in the mid-1980s that the museum got wind that it had gone to Marcos.
Imelda Marcos Bought LACMA’s “Goya” (Los Angeles County Museum on Fire | ARTINFO.com)