A more than 400-year-old Italian Baroque painting that was robbed from a Jewish family during World War 2 is about to be returned to its rightful owners. A federal judge ordered last February that the painting, “Jesus Carrying the Cross Dragged by a Rogue,” by Girolamo Romano, be returned to the family of Federico Gentili di Giuseppe.
The painting is believed to date to around 1538 and it was purchased by Gentili di Giuseppe in 1914 during an auction in Paris. He died in 1940 shortly before the Nazis invaded France. The painting was among 155 works auctioned off by the Vichy government in 1941, allegedly to pay off debts. The family maintains that the sale was illegal.
On Wednesday US authorities in Tallahassee will formally return the painting to representatives of the family.
Last November, responding to a demand from the family, US authorities seized the painting from the Mary Brogan Museum of Art & Science in Tallahassee, where it had been part of 50-painting exhibit on loan from Pinacoteca di Brera museum in Milan.
About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.
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