Vienna Philharmonic to return Nazi loot to Jewish family

The Republic 9 December 2016

VIENNA — A spokeswoman for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra says the famed ensemble plans to return a valuable French Neo-Impressionist painting looted by the Nazis to relatives of its original Jewish owner.

Claudia Kapsamer said Friday that the oil painting by Paul Signac will be handed over to Marcel Koch’s relatives in about three weeks.

A Nazi police official gave the orchestra Signac’s “Port-en-Bessin” in 1940 for its performances in occupied France.

The painting’s estimated value is around $500,000, or more than 470,000 euros.

The orchestra purged Jewish members and closely cooperated with Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and other top Hitler associates after Germany’s 1938 annexation of Austria.

It has worked in recent years to research and reveal its Nazi past and to make amends.
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