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MUSEUM WILL RETURN ART STOLEN BY NAZIS TO POLAND

A 500-year-old painting stolen by the Nazis from Poland's National Museum during World War II has been part of the collection at Vizcaya Museum since 1980 and will be returned.

"The Holy Trinity, Seat of Mercy," is a small oil on wood painting by Nuremberg-born Georg Pencz.

"There's no doubt on this," Richard Farwell, Vizcaya's director said Thursday of the final identification. "There's a repaired crack through the middle of it, and in a picture from (the Warsaw museum's) catalog, you can very clearly see the crack."

He said the painting will be returned to Poland, but the process in the county bureaucracy could take months.

The painting is one of 35 works donated to Miami-Dade County in 1980 by Claire Mendel, the German consul in Miami from 1958 to 1970. He died in Miami in 1987.

How Mendel came to possess the painting isn't clear, and there's no evidence to suggest he knew it was stolen, the Miami Herald reported Friday.

Holy Trinity depicts Jesus in the arms of God as the Holy Spirit, in the form of a white dove, hovers overhead.

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