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Friday, 02 November 2012 20:23

Former Owners Request Return of Monet Painting

Claude Monet's Poppy Field Near Vetheuil Claude Monet's Poppy Field Near Vetheuil AFP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini/Buehlre Collection Foundation

Juan Carlos Emden, the grandson of a wealthy Jewish businessman, is demanding that the Swiss Buehrle collection return a Claude Monet painting that the family was forced to sell as they fled Europe during World War II. The masterpiece was sold in haste for a little less than $32,000. The painting today is valued at around $27 million.

Emden is the Chilean grandson of Max Emden who bought Monet’s Poppy Field Near Vetheuil in the 1920s. Max was forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1933 for Ticino, Switzerland, where he built the Villa Emden to house his art collection, including Poppy Field Near Vetheuil, one of Monet’s most famous paintings. After his death in 1940, Emden’s son, Hans Eric Emden, was forced to sell his father’s art collection to finance his fleeing to South America from Europe.

Juan Carlos Emden is rumored to have been fighting for years to regain ownership of his grandfather’s painting and is planning to travel to Zurich to discuss how to recover the work with his lawyers. Poppy Field Near Vetheuil was stolen during a heist at the Buehrle museum in 2008, but it was found several days later.

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