4. Preference of the parties: sale by the municipal council
4.1 The parties assume an ownership ratio of 76 percent (Von Saher) : 24 percent (the Municipal Council). Apparently, they assume that they can claim the respective percentages of the financial value of the painting.
4.2 At the beginning of the procedure, three solutions recognised as such by both parties were put forward. One party would have to sell its share to the other or both parties would have to sell the painting to a third party with a division of the proceeds. Both parties saw the sale to a third party, privately or publicly, as the least preferable option, and focused instead on selling one of the shares to the other.
4.3 During the hearing, the Committee expressed a preference for the sale of Von Saher’s share to the Municipal Council, which would enable the museum to keep the painting in its collection. To this end, the Municipal Council would have to attempt to raise the necessary funds. The Municipal Council and Von Saher agreed to this proposal.
4.4 Some time later, however, the Municipal Council announced that it had been unsuccessful in its fundraising attempts. Therefore the preferred solution did not have the desired result. Given these circumstances, the Committee cannot, in all reasonableness and fairness, recommend that the Municipal Council purchase the painting.
4.5 In a letter dated 29 July 2008, the Municipal Council illuminated its position as follows:
‘The Municipal Council has recently endeavoured to gather sufficient financial means through the relevant funds to acquire Mrs Von Saher’s share. However, given that these funds are the subject of other financial requests, we were unsuccessful. The Municipal Council, therefore, has been forced to abandon the option to buy Mrs Von Saher’s share for the estimated market value. Instead, it is prepared, under the conditions stated in the letter from Mr Polak to the Committee, to sell its share in the painting to Mrs Von Saher (…).’
4.6 Given that the Municipal Council was prepared to sell its share to Von Saher and that Von Saher stated in writing that she was prepared to go along with this option (letter dated 26 June 2008), the Committee came to a decision accordingly. The Committee has seen insufficient support from the parties for sale to a third party.
4.7 In the procedure, Von Saher stated that the estimated value of The Prayer of Tobias and Sarah was USD 2,892,000 corresponding to her 76 percent share. This valuation was based on an exchange rate of EUR 1 = USD 1.55. In a letter dated 29 July 2008, the Municipal Council agreed to both the value and the exchange rate. Consequently, the parties agreed that the value of the 24 percent share was USD 913,263 and that of the entire painting USD 3,805,263.
4.8 The Municipal Council will sell its share in the painting to Von Saher for the total sum of EUR 589,201.94.
 Explanation of the calculation: given Von Saher’s 76 percent share, Simon Dickinson estimated the value of the painting at 76% x EUR 3,000,000 x 1.55 = USD 3,534,000, while Christie’s valued that part of the painting at USD 2,250,000. The average of the two valuations is USD 2,892,000.
 The sum of USD 913,263 is calculated as follows: 24/76 x USD 2,892,000.
 USD 913,263/1.55 = EUR 589,201.94.