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German panel rejects claim over Nazi-era artifacts sale

BERLIN--A German panel ruled Thursday against the heirs of Jewish collectors seeking to recover a trove of precious medieval church artifacts, saying its sale in 1935 was not made under Nazi duress.

The dispute centers on the Guelph Treasure or “Welfenschatz” of gold, silver and gem-studded relics believed to be worth hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) in total.

The mediation panel on Nazi-era art claims said it was “aware of the severe situation of the art dealers and their persecution in the Nazi era.”

But it added that it saw no evidence of “a persecution-induced forced sale” and that the price was normal “on the art market after the world economic crisis” following the 1929 stock market crash.

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