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Heirs Seek Return Of Medieval Art From Germany

A visitor looks at the the cupola reliquary (Kuppelreliquar) of the so-called 'Welfenschatz' (Guelph Treasure) displayed at the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) in Berlin, on February 24, 2015. U.S. and British heirs of Nazi-era Jewish art dealers have sued Germany for the return of a mediaeval art treasure worth $250-300 million, their lawyers said. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images)
A visitor looks at the the cupola reliquary (Kuppelreliquar) of the so-called 'Welfenschatz' (Guelph Treasure) displayed at the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) in Berlin, on February 24, 2015. U.S. and British heirs of Nazi-era Jewish art dealers have sued Germany for the return of a mediaeval art treasure worth $250-300 million, their lawyers said. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images)

The descendants of Jewish art dealers are seeking the return of a medieval art collection they say was sold under pressure to Nazi officials. The collection was given to Adolf Hitler as a birthday present in 1935; it is now housed in a Berlin art museum and considered a cultural treasure.

The lawsuit is being filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. because Germany is not recognizing the descendants’ ownership of the art. Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Nicholas O’Donnell, head of the Art & Museum Law Group at Sullivan and Worcester Law Firm, is the lead attorney on the lawsuit.

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