Nazi Victim's Heirs Lay Claim to Courtauld Institute Drawings

Bloomberg 6 March 2006

The heirs of Arthur Feldmann staked their claim to three drawings housed at London's Courtauld Institute of Art, saying the works were looted by the Gestapo in 1939, the institute said.

The drawings, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, are an architectural scene by Giuseppe Bibiena, a lion by Carl Ruthart and a dog by Frans van Mieris the Elder, according to an e-mailed statement. They are part of a bequest of more than 3,000 old master drawings made by Robert Witt to the Courtauld in 1952, the museum said.

Feldmann, who lived in Brno in the former Czechoslovakia, perished in the war, according to a claim cited by the Courtauld. His family has been searching for years to recover more than 750 drawings, it said.

``The Courtauld will be giving this matter urgent attention and will work closely with the heirs of Dr. Feldmann to achieve a resolution,'' Deborah Swallow, director of the Courtauld, said in the statement.

In February, the Dutch government agreed to return 200 paintings to the heirs of Jacques Goudstikker, an art collector who lost his property following the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in 1940.
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