MEPs vote unanimously for the return of works of art to the heirs of Jewish families looted by the Nazis


Faced with these rights holders present in the gallery, the Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot welcomed a “historic” text.

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Between emotion and gravity. The National Assembly unanimously voted on Tuesday January 25 a bill for the restitution of 15 works of art, including a painting by Gustav Klimt and another by Marc Chagall, to the heirs of Jewish families looted by the Nazis. Faced with these rights holders, present in the gallery, the Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot welcomed a text “historical”, validated to applause by 97 votes. It must be definitively adopted by the Senate on February 15. The plunder was “the denial of humanity [de ces familles juives]of their memory, of their memories”underlined the Minister (from 4:27:35 in the video below), in unison with speakers from all political groups.

Among the 15 works is Rosebushes under the trees by Gustav Klimt, kept at the Musée d’Orsay and the only work by the Austrian painter belonging to the French national collections. It was acquired in 1980 by the State from a merchant. Extensive research has established that it belonged to the Austrian Eléonore Stiasny who sold it during a forced sale in Vienna in 1938, during the Anschluss, before being deported and murdered.

Eleven drawings and a waxwork preserved at the Louvre Museum, the Orsay Museum and the Museum of the Château de Compiègne as well as a painting by Utrillo preserved at the Utrillo-Valadon Museum (Crossroads in Sannois) are also part of the refunds provided. A painting by Chagall, entitled The father, kept at the Center Pompidou and entered the national collections in 1988, was added. It was recognized as the property of David Cender, a Polish-Jewish musician and luthier, who immigrated to France in 1958.



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