Nazi looted art: return of the "foxes" further delayed - lawyers lodge a complaint

Four months after the Düsseldorf City Council’s decision to return the painting, Franz Marc’s “Foxes” has not yet been released to the heirs.

A woman looks at the painting “Foxes” by Franz Marc (1880-1916), which hangs in the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf. © Marcel Kusch / dpa

The heirs’ lawyers filed a complaint against the mayor of Düsseldorf Stephan Keller (50, CDU) and the head of the cultural affairs department, Hans-Georg Lohe, with the district government on Wednesday.

In the complaint submitted to the German Press Agency, heir lawyer Markus Stötzel accused Keller and Lohe of continually delaying the proceedings “for a wide variety of reasons”.

At the end of April, after years of looted art dispute, the city council decided to return the painting, estimated to be worth at least 14 million euros, to the heirs of Kurt Grawi (1887-1944), who was persecuted by the National Socialists.

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The return was initially delayed due to a criminal complaint. However, the public prosecutor did not initiate an investigation. The city announced in July that the return process will continue.

According to the lawyers, a donation law examination is underway. Against the will of and without the consent of the heirs, the search for a prospective buyer is also carried out.

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