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Christie returns the stolen 1945 painting to the collector’s heirs


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Moscow, February 3 – The court ordered Christie’s to return to the heirs of Lionel Hauser the painting by the Dutch painter Adrian van der Werff “The Penitent Magdalene” (1707), which was stolen by the Nazis during World War II. Artnet declared its collector to have lost it in 1945.
Hauser is Marcel Proust’s cousin. On October 23, 1942, he said, the Nazis confiscated 40 works of art from him, including The Penitent Magdalene.
The painting was included in a special list of properties looted by the Nazis. But for some reason, this information escaped during the sale of the painting by Adrian van der Werff in 2005. Then the lot went under the hammer in the amount of 60 thousand pounds ($ 115,185).

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The current owner of the work decided to put the painting up for auction again in 2017. Then the fate of the painting was traced. Christie’s has offered to split the profits from its sale between the heirs and the person who now owns it. The painting has not been returned.
It is not known whether the auction house will appeal the court’s decision. There is a fine of 500 euros per month for late returns.

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