US returns 474-year-old painting to Jewish owner's heirs

April 19, 2012 01:14

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- A 474-year-old painting plundered by the Nazis during World War Two was turned over on Wednesday to the heirs of its Italian Jewish owner, ending a 15-year international effort to restore the work to its rightful owners.

Flanked by representatives from Interpol and the US Attorney's office, US Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Susan McCormick outlined the events leading to the return of "Christ Carrying the Cross Dragged By A Rascal" by Italian artist Girolamo de' Romani.

The painting, stolen during the Nazi occupation of France, has been under the protection of the US government since November.

"Seventy years is a very long time," McCormick told reporters. "But it shows that it is never too late to right a wrong."

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