Painting looted by Nazis is coming to auction in NYC

AP News
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Posted: Apr 22, 2016 12:04 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A 17th century Dutch painting looted by the Nazis and recovered by the Monuments Men is going to auction.

Sotheby's is offering Gabriel Metsu's "An Officer Paying Court to a Young Woman" on May 26. The pre-sale estimate is $6 million to $8 million.

Austria's Rothschild family had owned it for decades. But due to bureaucratic wrangling after World War II, it wasn't physically returned to them until 1998.

It was sold at Christie's in 1999 for $1.2 million.

Markings on the back track its movement throughout Austria during World War II.

The Nazis seized the work from the Rothschilds' Vienna palace in 1938 and then moved it to the salt mines in Altausee (al-toh-SEE').

The Monuments Men recovered artworks from the mines before they could be destroyed under Hitler's 1945 Nero Decree.