Nazi-seized Degas drawing sells for $511,000
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'A gift from heaven''A gift from heaven'

Nazi-seized Degas drawing sells for $511,000

Italian collector buys 1898 work 'Trois Danseuses en Buste' taken in 1940 from Paris home of Maurice Dreyfus

French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay, left, and Viviane Dreyfus daughter of the late Maurice Dreyfus pose next to the late 19th century drawing "Trois danseuses en buste" by Edgar Degas, as she listens to the speech of French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay in Paris, France, Monday, May 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay, left, and Viviane Dreyfus daughter of the late Maurice Dreyfus pose next to the late 19th century drawing "Trois danseuses en buste" by Edgar Degas, as she listens to the speech of French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay in Paris, France, Monday, May 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

A drawing by Edgar Degas that was seized by Nazi Germany in 1940 and returned to its rightful owner in May fetched 462,500 euros ($511,000) at auction on Sunday, organizers said.

An Italian collector purchased the 1898 drawing, titled “Trois Danseuses en Buste” — a late 19th-century charcoal sketch of three ballerinas — by telephone, according to the Osenat auction house in Fontainebleau near Paris.

The work had been valued at between 350,000 and 450,000 euros.

The drawing was confiscated in August 1940 from the Paris home of Maurice Dreyfus, a doctor.

It was found in 1951 in a closet of the former German embassy in Paris, and given to the Louvre Museum before it was identified as the property of the Dreyfus family.

It was restored to them two months ago.

“We received a gift from heaven when we learned that they found the Degas drawing,” Dreyfus’s daughter Viviane told AFP.

“It’s as if my father gave us a gift from beyond the grave. We are very moved,” she said.

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