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Art Theft

All she ever wanted was her very own literary salon — and she didn’t care if she had to turn traitor to get one.

Florence Gould, the “Queen of the Riviera,” was a flapper fashion plate and a Depression-era trend-setter who parlayed her husband’s inherited fortune into a chain of casino pleasure palaces throughout France. American by birth but French to the tips of her manicured fingers, the green-eyed beauty cultivated a vast network of friends and lovers that included some of the biggest names of her day, including Charlie Chaplin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel and Maurice Chevalier.

She was also a blithe Nazi collaborator who tried to launder ill-gotten wealth for Hitler’s regime and ran a Paris prostitution ring to pleasure German occupiers during World War II. She added “ownerless” art masterpieces confiscated from Jewish connoisseurs to her exquisite art collection. And after the Third Reich’s defeat, Gould’s status helped absolve her war crimes — as the international jet set politely looked the other way.

To Read More on The New York Post

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