$2.5m Pissarro painting looted by Nazis removed from auction

Published on June 24th, 2009 | by Admin


A $2.5 million painting by Camille Pissarro which was lotted by the Nazis during WWII has been withdrawn from auction due to infighting between the descendants of the original Jewish owners.

The Pissarro remained hanging in their dining room until it was seized by Gestapo agents and sold, along with an El Greco, a Cezanne and a Gaugin, at the Dorotheum in Vienna in 1940.

After the Second World War, Gottfried managed to track down many of the missing paintings through the US restitution process. But the whereabouts of the Pissarro remained unknown until his daughter, Gisela, a former actress, managed to trace it to a vault in Zurich in 2007. It had been bought by the notorious art dealer Dr. Bruno Lohse, who worked for Hermann Goering. He was forced to return it under a court order but the battle cost Ms Bermann-Fischer 500,000 Swiss Francs.

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