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In The Hunt for Falt: ICE seizes two paintings from New York Auctioneers

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Federal authorities seized two Julian Falt paintings stolen by the Nazis from The National Museum in Warsaw, Poland.  Paintings were offered for auction at two separate auction houses: Christie’s and Doyle.  In the news release issued by ICE, “according to the complaint filed on Dec. 15 in Manhattan federal court, in August 1944, the German S.S. Obersturmbannfuhrer Benne Von Arent took over the Polish National Museum and confiscated the most valuable items in the museum’s possession, including “The Hunt” and “Off to the Hunt.”

Polish government alerted ICE to the auctions featuring Falt’s paintings and after ICE conducted an investigation into the paintings, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York filed a civil complaint against the paintings seeking their forfeiture as  stolen property imported into the United States in violation of law.

Falat (b. 1853 in Tuliglowy, Poland – d. 1929) is known for his hunting and landscape paintings. His works are of particular importance to the Polish art historians because they were singled out for displayed at the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland at the turn of the last century.