Paintings looted by Nazi, recovered by Allies to be auctioned in NY
NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Paintings looted by the Nazis during World War Two and retrieved by the Monuments Men, the Allied group tasked with returning masterpieces to their rightful owners, will be sold at auction on Thursday in New York.
The works, which will go under the hammer during Sotheby's sale of Important Old Master Paintings and Sculpture, were among the tens of thousands of works recovered by the art experts whose story is told in the George Clooney film The Monuments Men, which opens in United States (US) theatres on Feb 7.
"The scale of looting was absolutely extraordinary," said Mr Lucian Simmons, Sotheby's head of restitution.
"In France, for example, 36,000 paintings were stolen from institutions and largely from individuals. The Monuments Men managed to recover and return the majority of those," he said in an interview.