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Hundreds of old masters taken by Nazis to be returned to heir

PARIS — PARIS -- In one of the largest restitutions ever of art seized by the Nazis, the Dutch government announced yesterday that it would return more than 200 old-master paintings to the heir of Jacques Goudstikker, a wealthy Dutch Jewish dealer and collector who fled Amsterdam ahead of advancing German troops in May 1940.

The works include oils by Jan Steen, Filippo Lippi, Anthony van Dyck, Salomon van Ruysdael, Jan Mostaert and Jan van Goyen that have been hanging in 17 Dutch museums and other government buildings since the 1950s. No immediate estimate of their market value was available.

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The restitution, after an eight-year campaign led by Marei von Saher of Greenwich, Conn., the widow of Goudstikker's son, follows a recommendation made in December by a Restitutions Committee appointed by the Dutch government.

Earlier, both the government and a Dutch court had refused to reopen the case.


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