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Rare US artwork looted by Nazis sell for $2.5M at auction

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Jan. 17, 2013: Hans Sachs' collection of thousands of rare posters is previewed at the Bohemian National Hall in New York. (AP)

A poster collection seized from a Jewish collector by the Nazis and only returned to his descendants in recent years has brought in approximately $2.5 million at a New York auction.

Born in 1881, Hans Sachs started collecting posters as a teen and became Germany's leading private collector with 12,500 posters. The Nazis seized the collection in 1938, and the posters were held behind the Iron Curtain in East Berlin.

His grandson Peter Sachs went through a legal battle for several years to get back what was left of the collection.

Just over 1,200 posters were sold by Guernsey's over the weekend in the first of three sales.

A poster called "Kunstsalon Aktuaryus" dating to around 1900 sold for $57,950.

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