US government returns painting stolen by Nazis

TOPSHOT - The 1639 painting by Salomon Koninck titled "A Scholar Sharpening His Quill" looted by the Nazis from the Schloss family during World War II, is unveiled on April 1, 2019 at the French Consulate in New York City. - A painting stolen from the family of art collector Adolphe Schloss by Germans during the World War II occupation of France will be returned to his descendants in New York, the French consulate said in a statement Tuesday. The painting, Dutch artist Salomon Koninck's 1639 "A Scholar Sharpening His Quill," was part of an important collection of Flemish and Dutch works owned by Schloss, a Jewish man who lived in Paris. Its return on April 1, facilitated by FBI agents, will take place at the French consulate under the watch of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and representatives from the Jewish community, according to the statement. (Photo by Don Emmert / AFP) (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — The U.S. government has returned a painting stolen by the Nazis during World War II to the heirs of a renowned Jewish art collector.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced Tuesday that the 1639 work by Salomon Koninck was returned to two heirs of Jewish art collector Adolphe Schloss.

The painting titled “A Scholar Sharpening His Quill” was stolen by the Nazis in France and taken to Adolph Hitler’s personal headquarters in Munich.

Authorities say the painting resurfaced in November 2017 when a Chilean art dealer tried to sell it through a New York-based auction house. The FBI seized it until a judge authorized its release.

Berman says returning the painting restores a part of lost heritage, plundered by Nazis in a “sadistic and unjust” campaign.

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