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October 29, 2013 3:55 pm

Heirs of Jewish Art Gallery Owner Recover Painting Lost While Fleeing Nazis

avatar by Zach Pontz

The heirs of a Jewish art dealer announced Tuesday the recovery of a painting lost when their patriarch was forced to flee the Nazis some 75 years ago, Concordia University wrote on its website.

“Scandinavian Landscape,” an 1837 painting by Andreas Achenbach, was one of the paintings hanging in Max Stern’s Dusseldorf art gallery when he was informed that, as a Jew, he could no longer practice his profession. Forced to sell the works, he fled the country in 1938, making his way to Canada where he again became a renowned gallery owner.

The work was set to be auctioned by Germany’s  Van Ham Fine Art Auctions until researchers at a German government-supported agency that runs the Lost Art Internet Database identified the work as an exact match for a Stern painting listed with Interpol, Concordia University’s website wrote.

According to Concordia, “The Holocaust Claims Processing Office (HCPO) in the New York State Department of Financial Services, a partner in the Max Stern Art Restitution Project, contacted Van Ham and worked closely with the auction house to resolve the matter.”

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Stern died in 1987 without children, leaving the bulk of his estate to three universities: Concordia and McGill, in Montreal, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Bloomberg News said that “in 2002, the colleges began a campaign to recover the lost art, creating the Max Stern Art Restitution Project, administered by Concordia.”

They have recovered 11 of the estimated 400 works Stern was forced to sell.

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