Dusseldorf, Germany
Dusseldorf, GermanyiStock

The heirs of a Jewish art dealer who sold his collection under duress before fleeing Nazi Germany in 1937 have reached a settlement with the city of Dusseldorf over a painting that was once displayed in the mayor’s office.

The Artist’s Children (1830) by German Romantic painter Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow was part of art dealer Max Stern’s collection, The Art Newspaper reported. Under the deal, which the city council approved last week, Dusseldorf bought the painting back from Stern’s descendants for an undisclosed amount of money. It will now be displayed in the city’s Kunstpalast museum.

“I am glad that with this fair and just solution, this important painting remains in Dusseldorf,” said Dusseldorf Mayor Stephan Keller.

Stern ran the Galerie Stern on Dusseldorf’s Königsallee street after his father died in 1934. The Nazis attempted to force him to liquidate the gallery in 1935 but he was able to keep in going until 1937 when he sold the collection at an auction in Cologne and fled the country.

In 2002, Stern’s estate began the Max Stern Art Restitution Project to have his art restituted. The Dr. Max and Iris Stern Foundation began its legal quest to have the painting returned years ago but Dusseldorf’s position until recently had been that there was no evidence the painting had been sold under duress, the report said. However, the city recently changed its position an agreed to the deal with the family.