Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Kunsthalle in Kiel returns looted property

Date 2017.09.26

The Kun­sthalle mu­se­um in Kiel has re­turned cul­tur­al prop­er­ty dis­placed as a re­sult of war (“loot­ed prop­er­ty”) to the State Lit­er­ary and His­tor­i­cal Ar­chi­tec­tural Mu­se­um Re­serve in Tagan­rog, south­ern Rus­sia.

It con­sists of the paint­ing “Wood­land Pond” cre­at­ed in 1881 by Vasi­ly Dmitrievich Polen­ov (1844–1927).

In Au­gust 1943, to­wards the end of the oc­cu­pa­tion of Tagan­rog, Ger­man armed forces took the paint­ing and oth­er ob­jects from the lo­cal mu­se­um’s col­lec­tions to an un­known lo­ca­tion. In 1959, the paint­ing came in­to the col­lec­tion of Schwe­in­furt in­dus­tri­al­ist Georg Schäfer (1896–1975) via the Mu­nich art deal­ers Hag­mann and Gräf. The di­rec­tor of the Kun­sthalle in Kiel, Jens Chris­tian Jensen (1928–2013), ac­quired the art­work from the Schäfer col­lec­tion in 1986.

The Kun­sthalle iden­ti­fied the paint­ing as loot­ed prop­er­ty in a project fund­ed by the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion, in which the Kun­sthalle is in­ves­ti­gat­ing its hold­ings for cul­tur­al as­sets seized through Nazi per­se­cu­tion (Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty).

Project de­scrip­tion (on­ly Ger­man ver­sion)