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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Getty Museum agrees to return painting looted by Nazis

The 1640 work "Landscape With Cottage and Figures" by Pieter Molijn previously belonged to Jacques Goudstikker, the biggest art dealer in the Netherlands in the 1930s.

Goudstikker fled the Nazis with his wife and young son at the beginning of the war, but fell through a trap door on a departing ship and died.

His large art collection was then divided up by the Nazis, with some of the works being claimed personally by Hermann Goering.

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles later bought the Molijn landscape at an auction in 1972, and says it did so in good faith. It has never displayed the painting or disclosed the purchase price.

In a statement the museum said it had now researched the origin of the painting and established it "was in Goudstikker's inventory at the time of the invasion in 1940, and that it was never restituted after World War II." The museum said: "Based on its findings the Getty concluded that the painting should be transferred to the heirs." The return of the Getty painting was a victory for the art dealer's daughter-in-law and heir, Marei von Saher, who lives in the US and has spent years trying to track down missing works that were in Goudstikker's collection.

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