Despite there being a 30 year statute of limitations In Germany for the return of 'looted' art works, potential owners are being urged to look at photos published later today of the hoard found at an apartment in Munich; "If people see photographs of listed works, it may prompt memories of things that belonged to their relatives".
I can confirm now, and herewith stake my claim, to such memory. The work in question will be one by Oscar Kokoschka and I remember vividly how my great uncle Samuel described it as signed 'OK', which must have made it unique and easy to identify. Other businessmen in Berlin used to pay Uncle Samuel insurance premiums to prevent their warehouses catching fire, so he must have been very talented in that skill. Apparently one business owner was short of cash one month, and begged Samuel to accept a poor daub by an unknown artist as security. It was unfortunate that Uncle Samuel's ability to detect commercial fires failed him on that occasion - perhaps he had a head-cold - for the poor art lover's warehouse burned down completely.
Samuel's only crime was to neglect to pay tax on the considerable 'legal' profit of his sausage factory, making Kosher 'Berliner' sausage for Berlin's Jewish community. Many in our family believe that when Mr Kennedy declared himself to be this type of sausage it was in tribute to Uncle Samuel. The Nazis seized his goods 'in lieu' of unpaid tax before he had a chance to smuggle them out. Samuel was left a refugee in England, Scotland and Portugal, with hardly anything left to his name except the house in Shepherd Market, the estate in Ullapool and the villa on the Algarve. After a misunderstanding as to his liability for income tax in the UK, Samuel spent a great deal of time in the Algarve, where he was great friends with a Mr Salazar.
So when a photo is published later today of a Kokoschka signed 'OK' it's mine, OK?