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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Stolen painting goes under hammer
Les Jeunes Amoureux by Francois Boucher
The painting was stolen by the Nazis in 1940
An 18th Century painting which was looted by the Nazis is to be auctioned at Christie's in New York on Thursday.

Les Jeunes Amoureux by Francois Boucher was confiscated from Jewish gallery owner Andre Jean Seligmann in 1940, during the Nazi occupation of France.

Its most recent owners, the Utah Museum Of Fine Arts, returned the painting to Seligmann's heirs in April.

It went missing towards the end of World War II, and has had a number of owners since being found in 1967.

The painting was part of a collection of hundreds that disappeared after Seligmann fled to the US with his family to escape the Nazis.


Seligmann's daughter Claude Delibes said that Hermann Goering had confiscated the painting for his own art collection.

He attempted to send the collection by train to Bavaria towards the end of World War II but the train was robbed and the painting went missing.

It resurfaced in a New York gallery in 1967 and purchased by Utah businessman Val Browning five years later.

He donated it to the Utah Museum Of Fine Arts in 1993.

Christie's estimates the painting will fetch between $200,000 and $300,000 (110,000 - 165,000), but Ms Delibes has said it could sell for a lot more.

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12 Apr 99  |  Entertainment
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04 Jun 99  |  UK News

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