Heirs race to find Nazi-looted art

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Eighty-one-year old Thomas Selldorff, who fled Austria with his family before it was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938, hopes an upcoming international conference will bolster efforts to return Nazi-looted art.

The Nazis seized over 200 artworks owned by his grandfather, an avid art collector, as part of a policy of seizing Jewish property. So far, Selldorff has been able to retrieve only two of the lost paintings.

"I want to be able to pass these things on to my family. . . I want them to have the link and an appreciation for some of the things my grandfather was involved with," said Selldorff, who lives in the United States and wants to exhibit the altar pieces by Austrian baroque artist Kremser Schmidt in a museum.

Some 65 years after World War 2, experts say thousands of artworks confiscated by the Nazis, including masterpieces by art nouveau master Gustav Klimt and expressionist Egon Schiele, still need to be restituted to their rightful owners.

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