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December 10   -   Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

German panel offers $100,000 for Nazi-looted Guarnerius

A German conciliation panel has proposed a payment of around $100,000 to heirs of a Jewish instrument dealer from Speyer who was forced to sell his 1706 Guarnerius to the Nazis at a knockdown price. Felix Hildesheimer committed suicide in 1939. His wife Helene reached the USA. The violin was bought in 1974 by the German soloist Sophie Hagemann and left on her death in 2010 to a foundation in Nuremberg for use in local concerts. The conciliation panel has valued the violin at $158,000 and proposed that two-third of this sum be paid to Mrs Hildesheimer’s grandsons. Read the Deutsche Welle report. It remains to be seen whether the Hildesheimer heirs accept the conciliation panel’s offer.

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