WFSU News Team
Arts & Culture
Tue February 7, 2012
US Attorney: Stolen artwork will be returned
A 16th Century Baroque painting depicting Christ carrying a cross will soon be in the hands of its rightful owners. Florida Public Radio’s Trimmel Gomes reports the painting will be returned to the heirs of a Jewish man who died shortly before the German occupation of France in World War II.
U.S. Attorney Pamela Marsh says she expects the nearly 500-year old Italian painting to be returned within the next couple of weeks. That was the news shared during her telephone conversation with one of the grandchildren of Federico Gentili di Giuseppe.
“He was bubbling over with joy and excitement. He said thank you doesn’t express or come close to express the emotion he was feeling.”
A federal judge on Monday filed an order to return the Baroque painting to the heirs of Giuseppe who died in 1940 shortly before the Nazis occupied France. The family was unable to reclaim the painting because of laws banning Jews who fled occupied France from returning. The Vichy government sold the painting but his family says the sale was illegal.