Man Demands Nazi-Looted Modigliani

01 Nov 2011 9:13 AM | Anonymous

Man Demands Nazi-Looted Modigliani
     MANHATTAN (CN) - A French man claims a New York City art gallery refuses to return to him an Amedeo Modigliani painting that his grandfather owned until Nazis forced him to sell it during World War. Philippe Maestracci sued the Helly Nahmad Gallery, seeking return of the 1918 Modigliani painting, "Seated Man With a Cane."

     Maestracci says he is sole heir of Oscar Stettiner, a Jewish art dealer who owned a Paris art gallery, and the Modigliani painting.
     Maestracci says in his federal complaint that the Nazis had "a practice and policy of despoiling Jewish families of property located in the occupied zone by forced sales." Maestracci says his grandfather, Stettiner, loaned the painting in 1930 to the Venice Biennale, a world-famous art exhibition. In 1939 Stettiner was forced to flee Paris "with the threat of Nazi invasion looming," leaving his art collection behind.

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