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As Recent York museums acknowledge Nazi-looted artwork, possible disagreement is raised

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Within the wake of last month’s laws requiring museums in Recent York to acknowledge art stolen by Nazis, a possible disagreement over a certain piece has been brought up, in response to one report.

In August, Recent York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a law that requires museums to place up signs identifying pieces that were looted by the Nazis from 1933 to 1945, the Associated Press (AP) reported. 

It’s estimated that 600,000 paintings were stolen from Jewish people during World War II, in response to a press release from the Recent York Department of Financial Services.

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Roughly 53 pieces in Recent York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art have been identified by the museum as having been taken or sold under duress by the Nazis, in response to the museum website. 

Despite the undeniable fact that those objects were returned to their rightful owners before they were obtained by the museum, the Met will still put up signs explaining their history, the AP reported.

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Andrea Bayer, the Met’s deputy director for collections and administration told the AP: “People should pay attention to the terrible cost to people during World War II as these confiscations took place, and the way these peoples’ treasures that they loved and had been of their families, had been torn from them at the identical time their lives were disrupted.”

An oil on canvas 1695 painting by Dutch artist Jan Weenix, “Gamepiece with a Dead Heron” – acquired in 1950 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art – is shown on exhibition on the museum. The painting is amongst 53 works within the museum’s collection, once looted through the Nazi era, but returned to their designated owners before being obtained by the museum.
(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

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The Met told the AP that it doesn’t plan to place up an indication on “The Actor,” a painting by Picasso that the museum received in 1952 as a present. 

The painting was owned by Jewish businessman Paul Leffmann, who sold the painting for $13,200 in 1938 to a Paris art dealer as he was fleeing Germany, AP reported.

In 2016, Leffmann’s great-grandniece, Laurel Zuckerman, sued the museum for $100 million since the painting was allegedly sold under duress, Reuters reported on the time. 

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A court later dismissed the lawsuit, but Lawrence Kaye, one among the lawyers who represented Zuckerman, told the AP that the Met should still publicly recognize the painting’s disputed past.

“I think the law would cover this piece,” Kaye told the AP. “It was dismissed on technical grounds and I think under the broad definition of what this law means under the statute, it needs to be covered.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Ann W. Schmidt is a life-style reporter with Fox News Digital. 

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