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Small Jewish museum buys rare Chagall

(JTA) — The London Jewish Museum of Art secretly purchased a rare Marc Chagall painting at a Paris auction.

The small gallery paid about $43,000 — a fraction of its estimated $1.6 million value — for the 1945 painting created in response to the Holocaust, the Times of London reported.

"Apocalypse in Lilac, Capriccio" was purchased in secret in October to prevent larger museums from driving up the price, according to the newspaper. The museum was concerned also that French authorities may not have not granted an export license had they realized what a precious piece of artwork had been sold.

The gouache painting, which uses a crucifixion to represent the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust, reportedly remained in Chagall’s personal collection until his death. His son sold it to a private collector in France in 1985.

It is scheduled to go on display this week.

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