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The Raising of Lazarus, circa 1530–1540, a Nazi-looted painting by an unknown German artist that was returned to an heir, Frank Winkel, at a ceremony in Munich on Friday.

Bavaria Returns Nazi-Looted Painting to Heirs of Jewish Collector

After discovering that a painting in its holdings was looted by the Nazis and then bought by Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering—the highest-ranking official of the Nazi Party charged at Nuremberg—the Bavarian State Paintings Collection returned the work to the heirs of a German banking family, Catherine Hickley of the New York Times reports.

The painting, The Raising of Lazarus, ca. 1530–40, by an unknown German artist, has been in the possession of the state collection since 1961. Estimated to be worth $250,000, it is one of more than one thousand works amassed by Goering and recovered by the Monuments Men when the United States military seized his holdings at the end of World War II. The heirs were alerted to the painting’s location by a company that assists families in their search for missing artworks. After negotiations with the descendants, the Bavarian State Paintings Collection agreed to buy back the piece.

James von Bleichröder, the son of the Jewish banker Gerson von Bleichröder, who served as the personal financial advisor to Otto von Bismarck, owned the piece before it was confiscated by the Nazis and auctioned in Berlin in May 1938. It was returned to Frank Winkel, who is a descendent of James von Bleichröder’s daughter Ellie—a Theresienstadt concentration camp survivor—at a ceremony in Munich. The heir of Maria Christina von Bleichröder, the wife of James’s son Wolfgang, is also a beneficiary.

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