A painting by impressionist master CAMILLE PISSARRO that was seized from its French Jewish owner during World War II is at the center of a court battle beginning Tuesday in Paris after surfacing at an exhibition.

“La Cueillette des Pois” (Picking Peas), a gouache from 1887, emerged earlier this year on display at the French capital’s Marmottan Museum, more than 70 years after being snatched from art collector Simon Bauer in Nazi-occupied France.

A court will on Tuesday begin examining who are the rightful owners — Bauer’s descendants or an American couple who say they had no idea as to its wartime fate when they bought it at auction in 1995.

Bauer, a self-made businessman, was among the thousands of French Jews who were rounded up for deportation in 1944. He narrowly escaped being sent to the Nazi death camps due to a train drivers’ strike.

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After 26 years in court, the longest-running German legal wrangle over Nazi-looted art ended on Wednesday with a settlement that will reimburse a family for the seizure of a masterpiece by Paul Klee that was once scorned as the work of a degenerate.

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the raising of lazarus

“The Raising of Lazarus”, painted by an anonymous German artist, was salvaged by the Monuments Men at the end of World War II before entering the Bavarian State Paintings Collection in 1961, where it remained until now.

The work, painted in oils on wood, is thought to have been created between 1530 and 1540 and was part of a collection assembled by James von Bleichröder, the son of Gerson von Bleichröder, a Jewish banker who rose to fame as Otto von Bismarck’s personal financial adviser. James von Bleichröder died in 1937.

Nearly 80 years after it was stolen from the family, the painting, valued at about $250,000, was returned to Frank Winkel at a ceremony in Munich. Mr. Winkel lives in Munich and is the heir of James von Bleichröder’s daughter Ellie, who survived incarceration at the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

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Andreas Achenbach’s Sicilian Landscape (1861).


The current possessor of an Andreas Achenbach (1815-1910) painting recently withdrawn from a Dusseldorf museum on charges that it is “Nazi loot” protests that it was acquired in a normal “art gallery transaction.” Whatever that is… in the Germany of the 1930s.

The painting is being claimed by the Canadian-based Max Stern estate, named after Max Stern (1904-1987) a Jewish art dealer and collector who, as a member of the Jewish faith, was forced by the Nazi government to liquidate his gallery’s inventory.

That is usually referred to as a “forced sale” and an “act of duress.”

Nevertheless, the owner of the Achenbach painting vows to fight for his property rights.

Source: Holocaust Art Restitution Project.

Cleveland Museum of Art returns ancient Roman portrait stolen from Italy in WWII


The Cleveland Museum of Art and the government of Italy announced Tuesday that the museum would return to Italy an ancient Roman marble portrait head of Drusus Minor after learning that it apparently had been stolen in 1944 from a provincial museum near Naples.

Italian archaeologists excavated the Drusus head in 1925 or 1926 in Sessa Aurunca, in the Caserta Province of Campania, Italy, about an hour’s drive north of Naples.

The museum believes the work was made after the death of Drusus in 23 A.D., when his wife, Claudia Livia Julia, known as “Livilla” or “Little Livia,” allegedly poisoned him at age 34.

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Nazi-looted painting to be auctioned


Bartholomeus van der Helst, “Portrait of a Man” (1647).

A 17th-century Dutch old master painting stolen by the Nazis is to be auctioned in Vienna next week, provoking outrage from the heirs of the owners from whom it was looted who have accused the auction house of moral bankruptcy.

“Portrait of a Man” was one of hundreds of works looted in 1943 from the Schloss family, whose huge collection of Flemish and Dutch old masters was amassed by Adolphe Schloss, a Jewish-German industrialist who lived in France.

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Artwork Nazis stole in WWII returning to Jewish owner’s heir


Max Liebermann’s “Basket Weavers” is set to return to the American heirs of its original Jewish owner after it was confiscated by the Nazis, jockeyed by an unscrupulous German art trader, and ultimately purchased by an Israeli Holocaust survivor unaware of its murky past.

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Hundreds of artworks that were hidden for decades by Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of a Nazi-era art dealer, will at last go on view beginning in November, in exhibitions in Bern and Bonn.

The collection was amassed by Mr. Gurlitt’s father, Hildebrand, and was concealed until the autumn of 2013, when the weekly magazine Focus reported that the authorities had stumbled on it during a tax investigation.

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