The French government returns three paintings of the Flemish artist Joachim Patinira, one of the founders of European landscape painting and the outstanding figures of the Northern Renaissance, the heirs of the rightful owner – a Jewish family Bromberg, whose ancestors sold these paintings for a pittance and in 1938 fled from Germany to escape the Nazis.
About it writes on Tuesday, February 13, the French news Agency AFP.
We are talking about the triptych «the Crucifixion», created by the famous painter of the XVI century and depicting the suffering of Christ, as well as several of his other paintings. Picture Patinira, discovered among the ruins of Munich, nearly seven decades were in the vaults of the state collections. The triptych «the Crucifixion», in particular, was intended «Museum of the Führer» (Fuhrermuseum) in the Austrian Linz – the city where was born the leader of the Third Reich.
These works of art will be transferred to the heirs of Henry and Hertha Bromberg Minister of culture of France during a ceremony in the Louvre Museum.
Recall that two years earlier, France has returned to Christopher Bromberg and Henrietta Schubert painting by Flemish artist of the XVI century Joos van Cleve or his son, Cornelius van Cleve, expropriated by the Nazis
Martin Bromberg, the great-grandfather of Christopher, purchased the painting, which depicts a nobleman in a brown coat and a sword in his left hand, at auction in Berlin in 1912. His descendants Hertha and Henry Bromberg, who lived in Germany and fleeing the Nazis sold the painting at auction in Paris in 1938 before moving to the United States.
After that, the painting was resold many times and finally purchased it in 1941, the government of Nazi Germany, who planned to hang the painting in the Museum of Hitler in Austria.
The allies found the painting in a mine near Salzburg, where it was hidden from the bombing, and returned to France. The painting was exhibited in the Louvre from 1950 to 1960, and then sent her to the Museum of fine arts in Chambery.
This painting is one of 2,000 works of art that were transported from France to Germany during the Second world war. The names of the most part their owners are still not known – only 107 of the paintings returned to their descendants.
The Minister of culture of France Audrey Azoulay, who is now the head of UNESCO, acknowledged then that the action «long overdue» and emphasized that now the authorities intend to accelerate the restitution process and are actively searching for the owners of these works of art.
The article says that, according to experts, about 100,000 works of art and millions of books were in fact stolen from Jews who had fled from France to the Nazis.