TALLAHASSEE (AP).- A 500-year-old painting auctioned by the French government during the Nazi occupation in World War II is back in the hands of a Jewish family who proved it was sold illegally.
U.S. authorities in Tallahassee on Wednesday signed paperwork to return the 16th century Baroque painting to representatives of the family of Federico Gentili di Giuseppe.
He died in 1940 shortly before the Nazis occupied France. The Vichy government sold the painting, but the sale has been deemed illegal.
The family plans to auction "Christ Carrying the Cross" later this year. It could fetch up to $3.5 million.
U.S. authorities seized the painting from a Florida museum in November after discovering the family had been seeking its return.
A federal judge in February ordered that the painting be returned to the family.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.