The Arkell Museum in upstate New York posted a picture on its Facebook page of its painting "Winter" by American artist Gari Melchers, unaware that the Mosse family of Berlin originally owned it before fleeing Germany in 1933. It was pilfered and resold by Nazis.
A student working with Dr. Meike Hoffmann of the Free University of Berlin spotted the post. Hoffmann leads the Mosse Art Research Initiative in reclaiming the more than 1,000 pieces of art and artifacts the Mosse family lost when the Nazis came into power.
The Arkell Museum fully cooperated and handed the painting over to FBI agents. It is finally being given back to the family after a yearlong delay due to the pandemic. "Winter" is expected to fetch hundreds of thousands at auction this December through Sotheby's.
The next time fake news and bots and misinformed uncles crowd your Facebook feed and you're ready to pitch it, consider that there's also puppies, babies and finding justice against the Nazis too.