NORFOLK, V.A. – The attorney for a Williamsburg collector says his client is the rightful owner of a Civil War-era sword that Brown University claims was stolen from its collection in the mid-1970s.
Brown filed a federal lawsuit in January against Donald R. Tharpe seeking the sword's return.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar ordered both sides on Thursday to try and work out the dispute. He scheduled a Sept. 7 trial.
Brown's attorneys say the university maintains ownership of the sword.
Tharpe's attorney, Alan Silber, says his client bought the sword from an Illinois art dealer for $35,000 in 1992.
Silber says Brown officials had previously relinquished ownership of the sword. He also says the statute of limitations has expired.
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