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Monday, 30 June 2014 11:54

Collector and Philanthropist Ronald Lauder Speaks Out About Nazi-Looted Artworks in American Museums

Camille Pissarro's 'Sheperdhess Bringing in Sheep,' 1886. Camille Pissarro's 'Sheperdhess Bringing in Sheep,' 1886.

The recently released movie "The Monuments Men" tells of Hitler's attempt to steal or destroy Europe's greatest works of art, and the men FDR sent into harm's way to stop him. Thousands of works of art and many masterpieces were recovered and returned to their rightful owners. Yet today, seven decades after the fall of the Third Reich, other stolen works of art—some from owners who perished in the Holocaust—hang in museums in Europe and in America.

In the U.S., for instance, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Calif., is fighting a claim by Marei von Saher, heir of Jewish Dutch art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, whose collection was forcibly sold to the Nazis in 1940. The works in question are 16th-century oil paintings by Lucas Cranach. The museum has denied Ms. von Saher's claim on grounds that the statute of limitations on looted art has run out.

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