Stolen Michele Marieschi painting bought in good faith by British man 60 years ago expected to fetch more than £500,000

An 18th-century Italian masterpiece is to be auctioned by Sotheby’s in London almost 80 years after it was looted by the Nazis. The magnificent Venetian view, painted by Michele Marieschi in 1739, belonged to a Viennese Jewish family who fled Austria in 1938 following Nazi Germany’s annexation of the country.

Heinrich and Anna Maria Graf escaped to America with their five-year-old twin daughters, Eva and Erika. After the war they searched in vain for the painting, which depicts two of Venice’s foremost landmarks, the Punta della Dogana (customs house) and San Giorgio Maggiore.

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