(CN) – A painting by Jules Breton that the German army stole during World War I will be returned to France, the Justice Department announced, saying that the painting was discovered hanging in a New York gallery.
In 1918, the occupying German army seized Breton’s 1876 painting “A Fisherman’s Daughter/Mender of Nets” and several other artworks from the Musée de Douai.
The army transported the painting to Belgium, but the Belgian government was unable to locate the painting the following year while trying to return the French art collection.
France contacted the U.S. government in 2010 after learning the painting may have been spotted in a New York City gallery.
After the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York interviewed art experts and museum curators, it determined that it was the same Breton painting that went missing in 1918.
A Manhattan federal judge then entered a stipulation to return the painting to the city of Douai, France.
The French ambassador to the United States, François Delattre, held a repatriation ceremony at his Washington, D.C., home on Thursday.