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The paintings were taken from the museum during World War II. An ICE agent tracked the remaining few to friends of the family. military forces and turned over to the government-owned Austrian National Gallery in Belvedere Palace.These 11 paintings were among 40 missing works from the Pirmasen Municipal Museum's collection. In 1994, "Wally" became part of the newly-formed Leopold Museum.ICE works with experts to authenticate the items, determine their true ownership and return them to their countries of origin.ICE returned 11 oil paintings to the Pirmasen Municipal Museum in Germany. serviceman who had served in Pirmasens in 1945 turned a number of the paintings over to ICE.ICE handled the investigation and ultimately seized the Paleozoic-era fossils.
"Bildnis in der Laube" (Portrait in the Garden, 1930) was created by Paul Klee, an internationally acclaimed Swiss painter of German origin who painted more than 500 works of art.
The fossils were determined to be 525 million-year-old paleovertebrate fossils by experts at the Field Museum of Chicago.
A CBP officer discovered the fossils during a routine inspection at a Chicago airport mail facility.
ICE and the National Civilian Police of El Salvador confiscated the artifacts while working together in their first joint investigation, which started after the items were discovered listed for sale on an Internet auction site. In 2003 they had been part of a shipment of what appeared to be ceramics that traveled by plane from Peru for a customer in Miami.
A CBP officer in Miami intercepted the items in 2007, when what appeared to be pre-Columbian artifacts were being shipped to Alabama. The shipment, labeled "gifts," went unclaimed and was auctioned off as pottery.