Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

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.