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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's ex wife to make claim for $100M Matisse Nazi painting

                           Dominique Strauss Kahn's ex-wife Anne Sinclair

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s ex-wife is making a claim on a Henri Matisse painting stolen by the Nazis that could be worth $100million.

It was 65-year-old Anne Sinclair who helped bankroll much of the disgraced International Monetary Fund chief’s defence when he was accused of being a rapist .

But the couple divorced acrimoniously in March after details of Strauss-Kahn’s sordid womanising emerged during numerous court proceedings.

Now, however, there has been an upturn in Ms Sinclair’s fortune, with her learning that a Henri Matisse painting found among more than 1400 lost artworks in the Munich flat of an elderly recluse is likely to be hers.

‘Sitting Woman’, which is estimated to be worth at least 60 million pounds, belonged to Ms Sinclair’s maternal grandfather, the late French art dealer Paul Rosenberg, whose clients included Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

He fled Paris during the Second World War, leaving thousands of works to the Germans who were occupying the capital.

Now Chris Marinello, the director of Art Recovery International, said he was ‘in the process of submitting a claim’ on behalf of Ms Sinclair for Matisse’s painting of a seated woman.

Mr Marinello said he was ‘confident’ that the painting, which is likely to have the Rosenberg gallery stamp on the back, would be swiftly returned to Ms Sinclair.

The near priceless cache of 1400 works which also included paintings by Marc Chagall and Otto Dix was found in early 2012 at the home of 80-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt.

His father Hildebrand Gurlitt was an art dealer employed by the Nazis to sell art considered ‘degenerate’ by Adolf Hitler’s regime.

Some of the works were seized from museums, while others were stolen or bought for a pittance from Jewish collectors who were forced to sell.

There has already been criticism of the delay in announcing the find, but lawyers say it could take as long as a decade to reunite all of the works with their rightful owners.

Paul Rosenberg, who died in 1959 aged 77, began sending his collection out of France when the war started, and went on to continue his career in New York.

Rosenbery made millions through his association with world famous artists like Matisse and Picasso, passing on a fortune which now belongs to Ms Sinclair.

Ms Sinclair was born in New York, but first made her name as a TV presenter in France, and then through her marriage to Strauss-Kahn.

Now living in Paris, she is the director of a French news internet site, but has not yet commented on the discovery of the Nazi art in Munich.

A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government said they would do everything possible to assist those who art "may have been confiscated from people persecuted by the Nazis".

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