Kirchner painting to remain in Wilhelm-Hack-Museum
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s painting “Das Urteil des Paris” (The Judgment of Paris) will stay on display in its current location in the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum in Ludwigshafen. The Stiftung Rheinland-Pfalz für Kultur donated €200,000 towards the purchase of the painting, thereby providing the remaining sum required to secure the artwork.
The painting has been identified as Nazi-confiscated property. It was originally part of a collection of Expressionist works owned by Jewish manufacturer Alfred Hess, who died in 1931. After taking a somewhat roundabout route, it eventually ended up in the Ludwigshafen museum. The surviving heir of Hess reached an agreement with the museum for the painting to remain in its present location if the museum purchased it at an undisclosed below-market value price. The city of Ludwigshafen made every effort over a long period of time to raise funding to buy the painting. It was able to obtain support from the Cultural Foundations of the German federal states, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and the Stiftung Rheinland-Pfalz für Kultur.
Following this restitution case, the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum has been researching the origin of pre-1945 works in the collections of Wilhelm Hack and the city of Ludwigshafen since April 2016 in a one-year project funded by the German Lost Art Foundation.