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Saturday, 6 October, 2001, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Gallery faces Nazi art claim
The painting is stored at the Burrell Collection
A Jewish family has claimed that it was forced to sell a valuable painting that is now stored in a Scottish gallery.

Lawyers acting for the family, who live in Germany, say the painting was the subject of a forced sale in 1936 under the Nazi regime.

The paining, which is valued at 30,000, is currently in store at Glasgow's famous Burrell Collection.

Earlier this year the city council confirmed that 232 of its works of art are on a list of suspected treasures looted by the Nazis.

There are national procedures for adjudicating these matters and we have every confidence that if the claim is substantiated the council will do the right thing

Ephraim Borowsky, Jewish Representative Council
The 18th century still-life oil painting at the centre of the claim is titled Le Pate de Jambon and is thought to be the work of French artist Jean-Simeon Chardin.

The Jewish family claims that they were forced to sell the work through an auction to meet a wrongful tax demand.

Lawyers acting for family have contacted Glasgow City Council's Repatriation Working Group to put forward their case with a view to the painting being returned.

The legal team is asking for the artwork to be made subject of the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art of 1998.

If the council agrees, then it would pave the way for proceeding to begin, which end in the painting being handed over to the family in Germany.

The city council said that Sir William Burrell bought the work, which measures 33cm by 71cm, from German art dealer Julius Bohler in 1936 for 647.14s.

Probe launched

Bailie John Lynch, convener of the council's Repatriation Working group, said: "This is the only request we have received on the subject of Nazi spoliation and it will be considered fully and sensitively.

"Glasgow has a well-developed process for dealing with such requests."

Councillor Lynch said that over the next few months the group would seek expert advice before making a recommendation to the council.

He added: "We are taking this very seriously and have a great deal of sympathy for this family because of the events in the 1930s and 1940s in Nazi Germany."

Ephraim Borowsky, vice-president of the Jewish Representative Council in Glasgow, said: "There are national procedures for adjudicating these matters and we have every confidence that if the claim is substantiated the council will do the right thing."

See also:

23 Mar 01 | Scotland
Glasgow renews museum aid plea
30 Oct 00 | Scotland
Burrell review over looting fears
29 Feb 00 | Scotland
Scottish galleries on 'looted' list
24 Nov 99 | Scotland
New home for 15m masterpiece
14 Dec 00 | Scotland
Taxman opens doors on art
18 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Family compensated for Tate's Nazi art
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