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MUSEUMS RETURN ART SEIZED BY NAZIS

Two German museums returned more than 80 works of art Monday to a Jewish art-lover's heirs decades after they first sought compensation for a collection seized by the Nazis.

At a Berlin ceremony, officials from the western city of Hanover handed over an oil painting by Lovis Corinth valued at up to $470,000, while the eastern city of Leipzig returned more than 80 works.

The handover comes a year after a request to the museums on behalf of the heirs of Leipzig-based publisher Gustav Kirstein by the Commission for Art Recovery, an organization set up by the World Jewish Congress to help heirs reclaim art treasures stolen from their families during World War II.

At a conference in 1998 in Washington, 44 countries endorsed guidelines intended to push nations, museums, galleries and individuals to re-examine collections and archives in an unprecedented search for the lost assets of Holocaust victims.

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