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Art collector settles claim over Picasso

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CHICAGO, Aug 10, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A long dispute over ownership of a Picasso oil painting looted by the Nazis has been settled with a Chicago art dealer's promise to pay $6.5 million.

Marilynn Alsdorf bought "Femme en blanc," a Picasso oil, from a New York art dealer for $357,000 in 1975, but was sued for $10 million in California state court in 2002 by a man who said his grandmother owned the painting before it was stolen by the Nazis in occupied France in 1940.

Alsdorf reached a $6.5 million settlement with Thomas Bennigson in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

A lawyer for Bennigson disputed a claim the 80-year-old Alsdorf legally owned the Picasso, which was listed with the Art Loss Register, a London-based group that catalogues stolen art.

Pablo Picasso painted the oil during his classic period in 1922.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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