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Matisse Painting Looted by Nazis Returned to Jewish Art Dealer’s Heirs

HANDOUT - A handout picture provided by Wolf Heider-Sawall/Art Recovery Group/dpa shows the representative of the Rosenberg family, Christopher Marinello, who receives the painting 'Seated Woman' by Henri Matisse on behalf of the family in Munich, Germany, 15 May 2015. The painting is one of the most famous works of the controversial art collection of Cornelius Gurlitt. (ATTENTION: Editorial use only. Mandatory credit: Wolf Heider-Sawall/Art Recovery Group/dpa) Photo by: Wolf Heider-Sawall/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

A valuable piece of modern art is finally being returned to the heirs of an art dealer who fled the Nazis.

“The pieces had been stashed in the apartment because Gurlitt’s father, an art dealer named Hildebrand Gurlitt, had helped broker deals between Nazis who traded modern art—works Nazis derisively called ‘degenerate art.’”

The artwork, Matisse’s Seated Woman,was eventually intercepted by German authorities in 2010 after they stopped an elderly man, Cornelius Gurlitt, on a train from Zurich to Munich for carrying a large amount of money on him, NPR reports. They then inspected his apartment, where they found more than 1,000 works by artists including Chagall, Degas and Renoir, worth an estimated $1 billion.

The pieces had been stashed in the apartment because Gurlitt’s father, an art dealer named Hildebrand Gurlitt, had helped broker deals between Nazis who traded modern art—works Nazis derisively called “degenerate art.”

One painting in particular, Matisse’s Seated Woman, was among the billion-dollar art cache….(read more)

[TIME]

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