Looted El Greco returned to heirs of rightful owner

AP News
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Posted: Mar 24, 2015 8:12 AM

LONDON (AP) — An El Greco painting looted by the Nazis has been returned to the heirs of its rightful owner.

The Commission for Looted Art in Europe and Art Recovery International said Tuesday the "Portrait of a Gentleman" has been given back to the heirs of collector Julius Priester.

Priester was a prominent industrialist who fled Vienna in March 1938 when Nazi Germany annexed Austria.

The painting was seized by the Gestapo in 1944.

Priester tried unsuccessfully to locate the painting after the war, and the search by his family and heirs continued after his death.

Investigators said the painting was put up for sale in New York last year, prompting a successful claim by the Commission for Looted Art in Europe.