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Germany debates draft law on Nazi-looted art

Germany's parliament debated a law Friday to help return Nazi-looted art to their rightful owners or their heirs, following the recent shock discovery of a stash of long-lost masterpieces. The draft bill brought by the southern state of Bavaria, where the art hoard was found in a Munich apartment, would remove a 30-year statute of limitations that so far could protect people in possession of contested artwork.

Germany debates draft law on Nazi-looted art

Germany's parliament debated a law Friday to help return Nazi-looted art to their rightful owners or their heirs, following the recent shock discovery of a stash of long-lost masterpieces. The draft bill brought by the southern state of Bavaria, where the art hoard was found in a Munich apartment, would remove a 30-year statute of limitations that so far could protect people in possession of contested artwork.

Lab detectives help expose art fakes

In under two weeks, the art world has been rocked by cases of forgery in which paintings with a potential value of millions were unmasked as worthless fakes. The two episodes, entailing a bogus Marc Chagall and a Ferdinand Leger, have shed light on the expanding role of forensic scientists in probing the authenticity of works attributed to masters. "For years, scientists played only a marginal part in these assessments," said Gerard Sousi, founder of the Art and Law Institute, a Paris-based organisation that specialises on legal issues in art.

Artifact taken from Montreal museum found in Edmonton; 2nd item still missing

MONTREAL - Quebec police say an artifact dating from the fifth century BC has been found in Edmonton after being stolen in Montreal more than two years ago. The fragment from a Persian bas-relief sculpture was recovered last month in an apartment. It was taken from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in September 2011. The object has an estimated value of $1.2 million. Quebec provincial police held a news conference in Montreal today and said the artifact was found with help from the RCMP and the public.

Canon says to buy U.S.'s Molecular Imprints

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Canon Inc said on Friday it would take over Austin, Texas-based Molecular Imprints Inc, which develops nanoimprint lithography systems, in a bid to strengthen its chipmaking equipment business. Canon has carried out joint development of next-generation semiconductor lithography systems, which plays a key role in the chip fabrication process, with Molecular Imprints and a major semiconductor maker since 2009.

Bacon oil painting breaks Christie's record

A portrait by British artist Francis Bacon depicting his lover and muse George Dyer sold for over £42 million ($70 million, 51 million euros) at Christie's in London on Thursday, a European record for the auction house. Oil masterpiece "Portrait of George Dyer Talking", painted at the height of Bacon's powers, was first shown in Paris in 1966 -- the year of its creation -- and then at the artist's legendary first museum retrospective at the city's Grand Palais five years later. The exhibition opened two days after Dyer had committed suicide.

Lukewarm Berlin film market generates buzz nevertheless

By Michael Roddy BERLIN (Reuters) - Berlin's international film festival ends this weekend with some film buyers and sellers having made significant deals and others complaining of slack sales activity with no significant driver. The 64th Berlin International Film Festival kicked off last week with American director Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel" which - like other big titles - was not for sale. It ends on Saturday with the Golden Bear award for best film.

Germany grapples with draft law on Nazi-looted art

Germany this week debates a draft law to aid the return of Nazi-looted art, facing criticism of official foot-dragging after the recent shock discovery of a spectacular hoard of masterpieces. Nearly 70 years after Hitler's defeat, the bill will be presented Friday in the upper house of parliament -- which represents the 16 federal states at the national level -- with the aim of helping the restitution of art that was extorted or stolen from Jewish collectors.

German recluse's 'Nazi art trove' bigger than first thought

Around another 60 artworks, including pieces by Monet and Renoir, have come to light at the Austrian home of an elderly German recluse whose earlier discovered art hoard is suspected to contain Nazi-looted works. The latest pieces were found at the property in Salzburg belonging to Cornelius Gurlitt, his spokesman said Tuesday, just months after the art world was rocked by news of a spectacular trove of more than 1,400 works unearthed at his German home in 2012.

Clooney wins Greece invite after backing return of Elgin Marbles

Cheering headlines in the Greek press and an invitation to visit the Mediterranean country were certainly not what Oscar-winning actor and director George Clooney expected when he answered a journalist's question about a return of the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum to Greece.
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