Nazi-looted Max Liebermann Oil Painting Goes Under the Hammer

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Max Liebermann's 'Two Riders on the Beach.'Credit: Szczebrzeszynski / Wikimedia Commons

A Max Liebermann oil painting confiscated from its Jewish industrialist owner by the Nazis will be auctioned by Sotheby's on Wednesday, several weeks after it was restituted to family members from a secret art hoard discovered in 2012.

The painting, Two Riders on the Beach - estimated to fetch up to 550,000 pounds ($870,000 ) - was returned last month to the heirs of David Friedmann, a brick factory owner who was forced to sign over his estate to a Nazi general before World War II.

The 1901 artwork was discovered in 2012 as part of a collection hoarded for decades by Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of a Nazi-era art dealer who died last May.

Wednesday's auction will also include Portrait of Gertrud Loew by Gustav Klimt, estimated to fetch up to 18 million pounds, which was lost to its Jewish owners as they were fleeing Nazi persecution in 1939.

Its sale is going ahead as the result of a settlement between the heirs of the painting's subject and the Klimt Foundation.

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