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Road to Calvary – Oppenheimer Heirs and Private Person
In 1935, Nazi authorities took from Jakob and Rosa Oppenheimer a painting entitled “Road to Calvary” by Brunswijker Monogrammist and sold it at auction. The painting resurfaced in 2006 when a Dutch private individual brought it to Sotheby’s determined to sell it. Instead of asking for the painting’s restitution, the Oppenheimer heirs demanded a portion of the sale’s proceeds. The Dutch Restitutions Committee issued a binding opinion on the matter, as requested by the parties.
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15 Archaeological Objects – Italy and Princeton University Art Museum
The Italian Government and the Princeton University Art Museum signed an agreement on 30 October 2007 that resolved the question of ownership of 15 archaeological objects in the Museum’s collection. This accord was the culmination of negotiations that were initiated by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities following the discovery of substantial evidence demonstrating the illicit provenance of the requested antiquities.
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Auschwitz Suitcase – Pierre Lévi Heirs and Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Oswiecim and Shoah Memorial Museum Paris
After an initial unsuccessful attempt to negotiate the dispute regarding a suitcase between the heirs of the Holocaust victim Pierre Lévi and the Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, the heirs decided to file a restitution claim against the Museum. The parties eventually settled with the help of the Shoah Memorial Museum in Paris and agreed to a long-term loan of the suitcase at the Shoah Memorial Museum.
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Marienkirche Window Panels – Germany and Russia, State Hermitage Museum, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
In 1997, 111 panels originally forming a window of the St. Marienkirche (St Mary Church) in Frankfurt-on-the-Oder were located in the Russian State Hermitage Museum. They were brought to Russia by Soviet troops following World War II. In 2001, after difficult negotiations, Russia agreed to return the panels to Germany. In exchange, the German Government offered to finance the reconstruction of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God located near Novgorod. A second group of 6 panels found in 2005 in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts was returned to Germany in 2008.
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Aidonia Treasure – Greece and Ward Gallery
A collection of golden Mycenaean jewellery (the Aidonia Treasure) was acquired by the Ward Gallery of New York in early 1993. Before proceeding with the purchase the Gallery made enquiries in various Mediterranean States, including Greece, to find out whether the treasure was stolen. Greece responded in the negative, but it later sued the Gallery seeking restitution.
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Bath of Bathsheba – Italy and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
The painting “The Bath of Bathsheba”, by Jacopo Zucchi, was looted in 1945 from the Italian Embassy in Berlin, where it was on loan from the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica of Rome. In 1965, it was acquired by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.
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Ayuba Suleiman Diallo – Qatar Museums Authority and United Kingdom
The Qatar Museum’s Authority (QMA) purchased at Christie’s the painting “Ayuba Suleiman Diallo” by Hoare of Bath that was subsequently hit with a temporary export bar in the United Kingdom. The export suspension gave any interested British museum the opportunity to buy the painting within a lapse of time. The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London made a firm purchase offer that was refused by the QMA...
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Cypriot Icon – Boy George and the Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus
When the representative of the Greek Orthodox church of Cyprus, Bishop Porfyrios, watched a television interview with the British singer, Boy George, he discovered that an 18th century Cypriot icon was hanging in the singer’s living room. The artefact depicting Jesus Christ Pantokrator was displayed in the Cypriot Church of St. Charalambos, before it was allegedly looted during the Turkish invasion of 1974. At the request of the Bishop, Boy George immediately agreed to return the artefact and received a gift in return.
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Manuscrits Coréens – France et Corée du Sud
En 1866, l’Amiral Roze entreprend une expédition punitive en Corée. A cette occasion, de nombreux biens culturels sont détruits et certains emportés. Le 7 février 2011, la France et la Corée du Sud signent un accord portant sur le prêt des archives royales à la Corée du Sud.
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Liberation of Saint Peter from Prison – Feldmann Heirs and Private Person
In 2002, an American professor spontaneously contacted the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) as she suspected that the drawing she had inherited, “The Liberation of Saint Peter from Prison”, was looted from Arthur Feldmann during WWII. IFAR established evidence which confirmed her suspicions and acted as a facilitator, together with the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, in the negotiations between the professor and the Feldmann heirs. In 2004, the professor agreed on the unconditional restitution of the drawing to the Feldmann heirs.
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