German university loses Egyptian collection bought under Nazis

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The University of Leipzig is to lose an ancient Egyptian collection which it bought in 1936 from a Jewish professor, Georg Steindorff, a court ruled Thursday. 

A court in Berlin decided that the collection must be handed to the Jewish Claims Conference (JCC), as Steindorff had sold it for a value far below its actual worth. 

Leipzig university could produce no evidence to counter the charge that Steindorff had been forced to sell his collection under Nazi rule. It had taken the case to court in the hope of keeping the antique objects that the professor had collected on research trips. 

Steindorff, who held Leipzig’s Egyptology chair, emigrated from Nazi Germany and died in the US in 1951. 

The JCC is an umbrella alliance of 24 international Jewish organizations seeking compensation for Holocaust victims and their descendants.  

Source: Monsters and Critics [May 26, 2011]

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