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Norwegian museum agrees to return looted Matisse

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 21, 2014 at 7:39 am •  Published: March 21, 2014
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AMSTERDAM (AP) — A Norwegian museum says it has agreed to return a Matisse once looted by Hermann Goering to the family of Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg.

The 1937 painting, "Woman in Blue in Front of a Fireplace," has been the centerpiece of the Henie Onstad Art Center near Oslo since the museum was established in 1968 by shipping magnate Niels Onstad and his wife, Olympic figure-skating champion Sonja Henie.

The museum said in a statement Thursday that although it acquired the painting in good faith, it has "chosen to adhere to international conventions and return the painting to Rosenberg's heirs."

Norway is a signatory of the 1998 Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, which requires museums to review their collections for potentially looted works and when such a work is found, to try to locate rightful owners.

Now worth an estimated $20 million, the painting was taken by Goering after Rosenberg fled to New York in 1940, and sold to a Parisian art dealer later convicted of dealing in Nazi looted art. It was acquired from a different French gallery in 1950 by Onstad, who was apparently unaware of its provenance.

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