Germany returns painting taken by Nazis

Berlin, April 11 (IANS/EFE) The western German city of Cologne will return an Oskar Kokoschka painting taken by the Nazis from Jewish art dealer Alfred Flechtheim to his heirs to settle a long-running dispute over the work, officials said.

Municipal officials made the announcement in the wake of a recommendation by an advisory panel that said the painting should be returned to the Flechtheim heirs even though there are questions about how the gallery owner came to part with the work.

“Portrait of Tilla Durieux” (1910) has been at Cologne’s Museum Ludwig since 1976.

City officials plan to speak with the heirs to Flechtheim, who died in 1937, “to discuss the painting’s possible permanence at the museum”, Museum Ludwig director Philipp Kaiser said.

The art dealer’s heirs, however, have said they want back the painting, which has an estimated value of 3 million euros ($3.9 million).

–IANS/EFE

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