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German museum settles Nazi-era claim

(JTA) — A German museum has agreed to pay to keep a Nazi-looted painting in its collection.

The Kuntsmuseum in Bonn said it would pay half the market value for the painting, "Lighthouse With Rotating Beam" by Paul Adolf Seehaus, to an heir of Alfred Flechtheim, a prominent German modern-art dealers who fled from the Nazis in 1933, Bloomberg reported.

Flechtheim’s great-nephew, Mike Hulton of California, is attempting to recover paintings from his uncle’s private collection from several museums in Dusseldorf, Berlin, Munich and Cologne. The works include paintings by Pablo Picasso, Max Beckmann and Paul Klee, according to Bloomberg. This has been his first successful claim.

The Kuntsmuseum said in a statement to Bloomberg that it settled the case despite not being able to determine when and under what circumstances the painting was taken from Flechtheim. No record remains of the dealer’s inventory.

The Nazis had accused Flechtheim of selling "degenerate art." His business manager, a member of the Nazi Party, took over his gallery and its art after Flechtheim left Germany. 

 
 

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