Germany returns Nazi-looted painting to heirs of French art collector


(JTA) — Germany returned a Nazi-looted painting to the heirs of a French Jewish art collector which was seized by German soldiers in France in 1940.

“Quai de Clichy. Temps gris” by Paul Signac was returned to the family of Gaston Prosper Levy, who was a real estate broker, the French news agency AFP reported.

It is the sixth painting returned from the art collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, who died in 2014, and had inherited the collection more than 1,400 works from his father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, a collector whom the Nazis hired to buy art for its museums or to sell for profit.

The vast collection includes works by such famous artists as Picasso, Dürer, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Beckmann and Matisse.

“A countless number of the mostly Jewish collectors of art and cultural goods like Gaston Prosper Levy were persecuted, robbed or expropriated by Nazis,” Germany’s Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said Wednesday in Berlin during the handover. “Others have had to sell their property far below its value or leave it behind while fleeing or emigrating. We can never make good on the suffering and injustice.”

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