Nazi-looted artwork sells for $2.9m

The first Nazi-looted artwork to auction from the Cornelius Gurlitt collection has sold for £1.9m ($2.9m).

Max Liebermann's Two Riders on a Beach (1901) auctioned at Sotheby's London on June 24, demolishing its £550,000 ($850,000) valuation.

Liebermann Gurlitt
It is only the second artwork from Gurlitt's collection to have been returned to its owners

It was one of more than 1,000 important Nazi-looted artworks found in Gurlitt's Munich apartment in 2012. Gurlitt, who died last year, had inherited them from his father, who Hitler had instructed to seize pieces from Jewish collectors and museums.

The consignor was David Toren, the great nephew of Jewish collector David Friedmann, who had owned the work when it was seized.

It was returned to Toren earlier this year - one of only two pieces from the haul so far returned to its rightful owners.

"I am 90 years old now and blind, so while the return of the painting after so many years is of huge personal significance, I can no longer appreciate the painting as I did all those years ago in my great uncle's home," Toren commented.

"Though I am the only living heir to have seen the painting in my great uncle's home, I am one of a number of heirs and we have decided to sell. The painting can now pass into a new phase of its story."

We will keep you abreast of further developments from the Gurlitt haul as they happen at Paul Fraser Collectibles.

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Images: Sotheby's

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