A general denial of allegations of Mrs. Jean Bullitt Darlington that the University is responsible for the loss of her alleged Rubens masterpiece, "Descent from the Cross," was filed Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court by Harvard officials.
Counsel Edward B. Hanify further submitted that "the defendant is a charitable corporation under the laws of the Commonwealth and is exempt from any liability arising out of the transactions described in the plaintiff's declaration."
Mrs. Darlington's allegations were in the form of a damage suit for $100,000, filed Tuesday of last week, charging the President and Fellows of the College with breach of contract and conversion. The charges claim that the painting, which was turned over to the Fogg Art Museum for examination to determine its authenticity, was, without authority, delivered to a Newbury Street art dealer, and subsequently disappeared.
The first decision confronting the court when the case is heard, will be that of determining whether or not the University, as an educational institution, is liable. If it is, the court then faces the task of evaluating the painting, which is reputed to be a Rubens original.