Ohio museum to return German item stolen in World War II

Friday, December 24, 2010 | 10:29 a.m. CST

TOLEDO, Ohio — A museum in Ohio is returning to Germany an 18th-century porcelain centerpiece believed to have been stolen from a castle where it was hidden by a museum during World War II.

The Toledo Museum of Art and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday that "Nereid Sweetmeat Stand" will go back to the Dresden Museum. Customs officials say the German museum was loaned the piece in 1920 by the family who owned it.

It depicts a mermaid holding a shell and was part of a 2,200-piece dinner set commissioned in 1737.

The Toledo museum purchased the item in 1956 from a New York gallery.

Toledo museum spokeswoman Kelly Garrow tells The Blade newspaper the piece was purchased for less than $100,000. Customs officials value it at more than $1 million. The museum estimates the value at $300,000.


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