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Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media restitutes more Nazi-confiscated property from the Gurlitt art trove

Date 2017.05.18

The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Monika Grütters, has restituted another work from the Gurlitt art trove in consultation with Kunstmuseum Bern. The painting “La Seine vue du Pont-Neuf, au fond le Louvre” by Camille Pissarro was returned to France earlier this week. The work was confiscated from Max Heilbronn, a Parisian businessman, by the Nazis in 1942.

Monika Grütters said: “It is good that we can return this work. Each restitution of a stolen artwork is a crucial step in the process of dealing with the National Socialist dictatorship. We owe it to the victims of the Nazis and their descendants, because behind the history of every work of art there is a human history.”

The Schwabing Art Trove Task Force had identified the painting as Nazi-confiscated property at the beginning of 2015. It has taken a long time for the restitution to be made due to the legal dispute over Cornelius Gurlitt’s will. It was not until December 2016 that the Higher Regional Court in Munich finally confirmed Kunstmuseum Bern’s status as heir, thereby clearing the way for the restitution. The Federal Republic of Germany is undertaking the restitutions as stipulated in the Agreement of November 24, 2014, between the Federal Republic of Germany, the Free State of Bavaria and the Stiftung Kunstmuseum Bern as the testamentary heir of Cornelius Gurlitt.

A drawing by Adolph von Menzel, which was found in the estate of Cornelius Gurlitt, was returned to the descendants of its original owner by Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Monika Grütters, on February 20, 2017.