500-year-old Painting: 16th century Baroque painting returns to Jewish Family (Photo)

U.S. authorities ended a more than 70-year-old art drama Wednesday by returning a 16th century masterpiece to a Jewish man’s heirs who sought for years to reclaim the painting wrested away during World War II.

500-year-old painting

Image Credit: artsbeat.blogs

A grandson of Federico Gentili di Giuseppe listened in via teleconference from London as American authorities signed the documents transferring over the Baroque painting titled “Christ Carrying the Cross Dragged by a Rogue.”

“You did right a wrong and we are very grateful for that,” the grandson, Lionel Salem, told U.S. officials assembled in the federal courthouse in Tallahassee.

U.S. officials seized the painting last fall while waiting for a federal judge to rule on its ownership. After signing over custody on Wednesday to the family, the painting was given to representatives of Christie’s, the art auction house.

The family announced that Christie’s would sell the painting at an auction this June, saying the art house has estimated it could fetch as much as $3.5 million.

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