A La Mesa man at the center of a legal battle to recover a piece of art taken by the Nazis during World War II has died.

Claude Cassirer spoke exclusively to Fox 5 in his last television interview. The Cassirer family is suing the Spanish government for the return of an impressionist masterpiece by painter Camille Pissarro by worth about $20 million.

Right now, the painting hangs in a national museum in Madrid, but it once belonged to Claude Cassirer's grandmother. She was the member of a prominent Jewish family in pre-war Germany. The painting was taken by the Nazis in exchange for an exit visa out of Germany, which saved her from the death camps.

Claude Cassirer passed away at the age of 89. His family says it will continue the legal battle to recover the painting.