Stuttgart museum returns painting sold under Nazis

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Associated Press

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 5 at 11:04 AM

BERLIN (AP) — A Stuttgart museum has returned a 600-year-old painting to the estate of Jewish art dealer Max Stern, who was forced to sell his collection before fleeing Nazi Germany.

The oil painting "The Virgin with Child," attributed to the Master of Flemaile — an unidentified Flemish artist from the early 1400s — was turned over by Staatsgalerie Stuttgart at a ceremony Tuesday at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin.

Stern closed his gallery in 1937 under pressure from the Nazis and sold its paintings before fleeing Germany and resettling in Montreal.

He died in 1987 as a successful Canadian gallery owner, and bequeathed his collection to several institutions.

The Max Stern Restitution Project, headed by Montreal's Concordia University, is working to retrieve the missing pieces. Ten of some 400 have been returned.

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