After a stopover in the U.S. that lasted the better part of a century, a baroque landscape painting that went missing during World War II was returned to Germany on Thursday.
The FBI handed over the artwork by 18th century Austrian artist Johann Franz Nepomuk Lauterer to a German museum representative in a brief ceremony at the German Consulate in Chicago, where the pastoral piece showing an Italian countryside was on display.
Art Recovery International, a company focused on locating and recovering stolen and looted art, tracked down the elusive painting after a person in Chicago reached out last year claiming to possess a “stolen or looted painting” that their uncle brought back to the U.S. after serving in World War II.
The painting has been missing since 1945 and was first reported stolen from the Bavarian State Painting Collections in Munich, Germany. It was added to the database of the German Lost Art Foundation in 2012, according to a statement from the art recovery company.