Spoils of War: Looted Art

Sharon Perry / Reuters

FAMILY TREASURES: The Israel Museum displays over 100 artworks stolen in World War II

Rose Valland looked nondescript — an ideal trait for a spy. Gray and unglamorous, with black-rimmed glasses that gave her a perpetual frown, she was virtually invisible to the Nazis who, in 1940, were using the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris as a depot for thousands of plundered art masterpieces on their way to Germany. While working in a menial maintenance job, Valland eavesdropped on her Nazi bosses as they catalogued looted Vermeers and Rembrandts, and shipped them off 
 to the private collections of top Nazis. Choice pieces were earmarked for the grand Führermuseum, which Adolf Hitler planned but...

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