A painting by impressionist master CAMILLE PISSARRO that was seized from its French Jewish owner during World War II is at the center of a court battle beginning Tuesday in Paris after surfacing at an exhibition.
“La Cueillette des Pois” (Picking Peas), a gouache from 1887, emerged earlier this year on display at the French capital’s Marmottan Museum, more than 70 years after being snatched from art collector Simon Bauer in Nazi-occupied France.
A court will on Tuesday begin examining who are the rightful owners — Bauer’s descendants or an American couple who say they had no idea as to its wartime fate when they bought it at auction in 1995.
Bauer, a self-made businessman, was among the thousands of French Jews who were rounded up for deportation in 1944. He narrowly escaped being sent to the Nazi death camps due to a train drivers’ strike.
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