U.S. authorities seized a painting on display in a Florida museum that was believed to be looted from its Jewish owner by the Nazis.
The nearly 500-year-old painting, “Christ Carrying the Cross Dragged by a Rascal” by Girolamo de’ Romani, was seized Nov. 4 by the Department of Homeland Security from Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science in Tallahassee, Fla.
The painting, which had been on display at the museum since March, was on loan from the Pinacoteca di Brera museum in Milan, Italy. The exhibit was set to close Sunday, according to Reuters.
Federico Gentili di Giuseppe, an Italian Jew living in Paris, is believed to have owned the painting. He died in 1940 shortly before Germany invaded France.
The painting and more than 70 other works belonging to Giuseppe were looted and sold by the French Vichy government in 1941. His grandchildren filed a lawsuit in 1997 to have the painting returned to them.
In 1999, a French court ordered the Louvre to return five paintings to the family. — jta