Klee work finally returned to Jewish heirs

Swissinfo 29 September 2010

A drawing by Swiss-born artist Paul Klee that was seized by the Nazis has been returned to its owner's heirs.

Klee’s 1920 work Veil Dance has been under the care of the Israel Museum since 1950 but was handed over to a British-Israeli charity this month after its full origins were established, the museum announced on Wednesday.

The work was part of the private collection of Harry Fuld, a Jewish telephone maker who fled Nazi persecution in Germany in 1937. He had left his art collection with a shipping company, but it was confiscated by the Nazis.

The drawing was discovered after the war by a Jewish organisation that works to return looted art and was handed to Israel's national museum for safekeeping.

Fuld died in 1963, willing his estate to his housekeeper, Gita Gisela Martin, who in turn donated the drawing in 1992 to the British branch of Magen David Adom, the fundraising arm of Israel's emergency service. But neither knew where the drawing was.

Israel Museum director James Snyder said on Wednesday that although the drawing was an important part of the museum's 18-piece Klee collection, he was "gratified" to see it go to a charitable cause.

Klee was born, raised and died in Switzerland, but his formative years were spent in Germany, where he became famous as an artist of the avantgarde.
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