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London Gallery to Return Looted Art

London Gallery to Return Looted Art

A London gallery has agreed to return three Old Master drawings that were looted by the Nazis during World War II to the family of their Czech owner.
Britain's culture ministry said Wednesday it had accepted a recommendation from the government's Spoliation Advisory Panel that the works be returned to the family of Arthur Feldmann, a Czech doctor whose property was stolen when the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939. He was tortured and killed by the Nazis; his wife, Gisela, died at Auschwitz.
British authorities said there was firm evidence the 17th-century drawings _ attributed to Carl Ruthart, Frans van Mieris the Elder and Guiseppe Bibiena _ were seized from Feldmann's home by the Gestapo. They surfaced in London after the war and were sold by Sotheby's auction house in 1946.
They have been in the collection of London's Courtauld Institute of Art since 1952. The ministry said the institute had agreed to return two of the works. It said Feldmann's family had agreed to let the gallery keep the van Mieris drawing as a gift.
In April, the British government agreed to compensate Feldmann's heirs $345,000 for other looted works that ended up in the British Museum.
The deal allowed the works to remain in the institution, which was created by an act of Parliament that bars it from disposing of items in its collection.
The Spoliation Advisory Panel was set up in 2000 to resolve claims arising from looted Nazi-era property held in collections in Britain.


Updated : 2021-05-09 11:27 GMT+08:00