Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Resolve dispute over looted art work, Swedish museum urged

The heirs of a Jewish businessman, who fled Germany before the Second World War, are demanding a Swedish museum resolve the dispute over an Emil Nolde painting looted by the Nazis.

The heirs of Otto Nathan Deutsch have sent a letter to Swedish Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth to intervene. The letter also accuses the Moderna Museet in Stockholm of using "delaying tactics."

Deutsch fled to Amsterdam around 1938 or 1939, leaving behind his possessions, including Nolde's Blumengarten (Utenwarf ), also known asFlowergarden (Utenwarf), according to New York lawyer David Rowland, who represents the heirs.

Deutsch had arranged for his possessions to be shipped to him in Amsterdam but they never arrived. He died in poverty in 1943.

The shipping company claimed his things had been destroyed in the war, and the heirs accepted a small compensation from the German shipping company in 1962, Rowland said.

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