Nazi Art Loot Returned … to Nazis – The New York Times

Hitler’s private secretary, Henriette von Schirach, and her family pleaded with officials of the Bavarian State Painting Collections to turn over nearly 300 works, including a small landscape, “View of a Dutch Square” by the Dutch artist Jan van der Heyden.Before the war, the painting had been owned by Gottlieb and Mathilde Kraus, Jews who fled their Vienna penthouse, leaving behind a carefully packed collection of art that was then confiscated by the Gestapo in 1941.Mrs. von Schirach persuaded the Bavarians to give it back to her for a pittance — 300 Deutschmarks, which was roughly $75 then or nearly $600 now.“The basic element of this story is this: They stole from my family,” said John Graykowski, 62, the Krauses’ great-grandson, “and then they gave it back to the guy who stole it from them. How does that work?”It turns out, the archives show, that hundreds of works were actually sold back at discounted prices in the 1950s and the 1960s to the very Nazis who had taken possession of them, including the widow of Hermann Goering, a senior aide to Hitler who pillaged art to amass a collection of more than a thousand works.Continue reading the main storyFROM OUR ADVERTISERSThis murky chapter of history came to light because of Mr. Graykowski’s search for some 160 missing works from the Krause collection. In 2009, Mr. Graykowski, a Virginia lawyer, enlisted the help of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, a London-based nonprofit that researched the archives for him and made key discoveries.Anne Webber, a founder of the commission, said her researchers concluded that the resale of looted art to Nazi-tied families had hardly been isolated. “They called them a ‘return sale,’” she said. “Why were they returned to them rather than the family from whom they were looted? Nobody knew.”

Source: Nazi Art Loot Returned … to Nazis – The New York Times

Artificial intelligence reveals undiscovered bat carriers of Ebola and other filoviruses | Science Codex

David Hayman of Massey University notes, “The model allows us to move beyond our own biases and find patterns in the data that only a machine can. Instead of predicting where Ebola and other filovirus outbreaks will occur by looking at the last spillover event, it forecasts risk based on the intrinsic traits of filovirus-positive bat species.”Those traits include: early maturity, having more than one pup per year (most bats only have one), offspring that are large at birth, and a tendency to live in large groups. Compared to other bats, filovirus-positive species also have broader geographic ranges that overlap with a higher diversity of mammal species per square kilometer.When data on the world’s 1116 bat species were searched using this filovirus-positive bat profile, machine learning identified new potential hosts based on their traits. Once mapped, these bats were more widely distributed than the team expected. While many potential bat hosts are found in sub-Saharan Africa, they also range across Southeast Asia and Central and South America.Han explains, “Our results corroborate studies in Africa that have predicted the environmental niche of Ebola spans the primary tropical rainforest. But in a departure from past research, we identified several hotspots in Southeast Asia where up to 26 potential reservoir species overlap, notably in Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Vietnam, and northeast India.”John Drake of the University of Georgia concludes, “Maps generated by the algorithm can help guide targeted surveillance and virus discovery projects. We suspect there may be other filoviruses waiting to be found. An outstanding question for future work is to investigate why there are so few filovirus spillover events reported for humans and wildlife in Southeast Asia compared to equatorial Africa.”

Source: Artificial intelligence reveals undiscovered bat carriers of Ebola and other filoviruses | Science Codex