$7 million in artworks stolen by Nazis returned to rightful heirs

Art stolen by the Nazis was returned to the heirs of its rightful owner.

A New York appellate court upheld a ruling that returned two prized Egon Schiele drawings to the heirs of Fritz Grunbaum, a Viennese cabaret singer and vocal critic of the Nazis whose large art collection (449 pieces) was confiscated before he was murdered in a Nazi concentration camp in 1941.

The works—roughly valued at $7 million—had been purchased by a London art dealer six years ago but were returned to the heirs. “We reject the notion that a person who signs a power of attorney in a death camp can be said to have executed the document voluntarily,” the judges wrote. “Possession is not equivalent to legal title.”

They also stated, “The tragic consequences of the Nazi occupation of Europe on the lives, liberty and property of the Jews continue to confront us today.”

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