Disputed art to remain at Berlin museum

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Associated Press

Posted on March 20, 2014 at 7:32 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 20 at 8:00 AM

BERLIN (AP) — A panel set up by the German government says a medieval treasure at the center of a long-running ownership dispute should stay with a Berlin museum and not be given to the heirs of Nazi-era Jewish art dealers.

Thursday's recommendation on the fate of the Welfenschatz, or Guelph Treasure, by a decade-old commission created to help resolve restitution claims isn't binding but carries moral weight.

The heirs maintain their ancestors had no choice but to sell the collection, which includes gold crosses and silverwork, to the Nazi government for less than its value. The body overseeing Berlin's museums say the collectors weren't forced to sell, arguing among other things that the collection wasn't even in Germany at the time.

Representatives of the heirs were not immediately available for comment.

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