How painting looted by Nazis ended up Columbus

Posted at 1:26 AM, Sep 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-29 01:26:30-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A painting believed to have been looted by Nazi soldiers during World War II its being returned to its home country.

"Portrait of a Young Man" was created in about 1728 by Krzysztof Lubieniecki, a Polish Baroque painter and engraver who was part of the Dutch Golden Age in Amsterdam. He died about a year after creating the portrait, at age 70.

The work was taken, along with other pieces, from Warsaw's National Museum in October 1944; the Nazis likely took it to a palace in Austria, and, according to the FBI, an American serviceman found it in that country and brought it to the U.S.

After he died, someone living near Columbus bought the painting.

Years later, a relative of the serviceman saw the artwork in photos and tracked down its true origins; the people who bought it agreed to return the portrait to Poland, the FBI said.

Poland's Division for Looted Art, part of that country's Ministry of Culture, works to track down items that, like the painting, were taken during World War II.