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Deux cavaliers sur la plage – Héritiers Friedmann, Kunstmuseum de Berne, République fédérale d’Allemagne et Etat libre de Bavière

Deux cavaliers sur la plage – Héritiers Friedmann, Kunstmuseum de Berne, République fédérale d’Allemagne et Etat libre de Bavière

En 1942, le marchand d’art Hildebrand Gurlitt reçoit le tableau Deux cavaliers sur la plage de Max Liebermann qui a été spolié au collectionneur juif David Friedmann. Il meurt en 1956 et son fils Cornelius hérite de sa riche collection d’œuvres. La collection est découverte par hasard en 2012 et conservée secrètement par les autorités allemandes afin de déterminer l’origine des objets.

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Die Grosse Seestrasse in Wannsee – X. v. Switzerland

Die Grosse Seestrasse in Wannsee – X. v. Switzerland

The painting “Die Grosse Seestrasse in Wannsee” was bought in 1948 by François de Diesbach. After de Diesbach’s death, the painting was forgotten within the Swiss embassy. When the Swiss embassy decided to donate the painting to the Liebermann Villa, a distant relative of de Diesbach seized a Swiss court and claimed ownership over the painting. The High Court of the Canton of Bern ultimately held that the Swiss Confederation had acquired ownership over the painting.

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Durga Idol – India and Germany

Durga Idol – India and Germany

In the 1990s, a 10th century idol representing the Indian Goddess Durga was reported as stolen from a temple in Tengpora, Pulwana in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. The idol was found at the Linden Museum in Stuttgart in 2012. After presenting the evidence of its provenance, the idol was returned to India on “ethical grounds”.

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Five Italian Paintings – Gentili di Giuseppe Heirs v. Musée du Louvre and France

Five Italian Paintings – Gentili di Giuseppe Heirs v. Musée du Louvre and France

In 1998, the heirs of the renowned Jewish art collector Federico Gentili di Giuseppe sued the Louvre Museum seeking the restitution of five paintings. These paintings, which were part of Federico Gentili di Giuseppe’s collection, were bought at auction by Herman Göring in 1941 and transferred to the Musée du Louvre at the end of the Second World War.

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Five Schiele Watercolors – Leopold Museum and Eva Zirkl

Five Schiele Watercolors – Leopold Museum and Eva Zirkl

Karl Mayländer, a Jewish businessman and art collector, was deported from Austria to occupied Poland and later killed in the Holocaust. Before leaving, he left his art collection to his partner who later sold it. Five Schiele watercolors from his collection came into the possession of the Leopold Museum. Negotiations between the museum and Eva Zirkl, Mayländer’s heir, concluded with the return of two of the five watercolors to Zirkl.

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Four Old Master Drawings – Feldmann Heirs and the British Museum

Four Old Master Drawings – Feldmann Heirs and the British Museum

In May of 2002, the British Museum was confronted with a restitution claim by the heirs of the Second World War victim, Arthur Feldmann, regarding four Old Master drawings. The Commission of Looted Art Europe, who represented the claimant, and the British Museum, jointly sought guidance from the Spoliation Advisory Panel. After deferral of the Attorney General, the High Court held that under the British Museum Act the Museum could not restitute an object in order to meet a moral obligation without an Act of Parliament. Eventually, the British Museum followed the recommendation of the Spoliation Advisory Panel and compensated the family with an ex gratia payment.

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Fresques de Casenoves – Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de la Ville de Genève et la France

Fresques de Casenoves – Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de la Ville de Genève et la France

Le 1er juillet 1997, le Musée d’art et d’histoire de la Ville de Genève et l'Etat français, representé par son Ministère de la culture, ont signé un accord portant sur le prêt de deux fragments des fresques de Casenoves (Christ en Majesté et Adoration des Mages). Le 19 mars 2003, le Conseil administratif de la Ville de Genève a décidé de transformer ce prêt en donation.

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Guelph Treasure – Alan Philipp, Gerald G. Stiebel and Jed R. Leiber v. Germany and Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

Guelph Treasure – Alan Philipp, Gerald G. Stiebel and Jed R. Leiber v. Germany and Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

A collection of medieval ecclesiastical art is claimed by the heirs of three Jewish dealers, who allege that the collection was sold under duress during the Nazi era. After an unsuccessful conciliation in front of Germany’s Advisory Commission, the claim is being litigated before the courts of the United States. On 3 February 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favour of Germany on the interpretation of the expropriation exception in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

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Herzog Collection – De Csepel et al. v. Republic of Hungary et al.

The “Herzog Collection” was originally an assembly of over two thousand works of art, collected by Baron Mór Lipót Herzog in the early 1900s. During World War II, the collection was seized by the Hungarian government, under Nazi orders. For the last seven decades, the Herzog Heirs have attempted to reclaim the Collection from the Republic of Hungary, without success. Now, the Herzog Heirs are taking their claim to the United States Supreme Court.

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Jardin à Auvers – Agent judiciare du Trésor c. Walter

Jardin à Auvers – Agent judiciare du Trésor c. Walter

Dans son arrêt du 20 février 1996, la Cour de Cassation de la France a condamné l’Etat français à indemniser le propriétaire d’un tableau dont l’exportation avait été refusée pour cause de classement d’office.

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La Bergère – Meyer Heirs and Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

La Bergère – Meyer Heirs and Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

Raoul Meyer’s art collection, which included Camille Pissarro’s painting “La bergère rentrant des moutons”, was looted by Nazi troops during the occupation of France in early 1940s. Decades later, Meyer’s daughter and heir, Léone Meyer, discovered the painting at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma, and initiated a lawsuit in the United States seeking its return. After a three-year litigation, the two sides reached a settlement in 2016.

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La cueillette de Pissarro – Héritiers Simon Bauer c. Bruce et Robbi Toll

La cueillette de Pissarro – Héritiers Simon Bauer c. Bruce et Robbi Toll

Les héritiers de Simon Bauer, juif déporté dont la collection avait été confisquée sous le régime nazi, profitent de la présence du tableau de Pissarro « La cueillette » en France dans le cadre d’une exposition pour en demander la restitution. Le Tribunal de grande instance de Paris ordonne la restitution de la toile le 7 novembre 2017. La Cour d’appel a confirmé cette décision le 2 octobre 2018.

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La Frise Beethoven – Héritiers Lederer c. Autriche

La Frise Beethoven – Héritiers Lederer c. Autriche

En 2013, les héritiers du collectionneur Enrich Lederer demandent la restitution de la « Frise Beethoven » de Klimt à l’État autrichien. Cette Frise avait été spoliée à Vienne à la famille Lederer par les nazis avant d’être restituée à Enrich Lederer à la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Par la suite, Enrich Lederer l’avait vendue à l’État autrichien tout en clamant qu’il n’avait pas d’autre choix.

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La Seine vue du Pont-Neuf, au fond le Louvre

La Seine vue du Pont-Neuf, au fond le Louvre

Durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, le tableau de Camille Pissarro "La Seine vue du Pont-Neuf, au fond le Louvre" appartenant à Max Heilbronn est spolié par le régime nazi. En 2012, lors d'une perquisition chez Cornelius Gurlitt les autorités allemandes saisissent une collection d'œuvres dont le tableau de Camille Pissaro fait partie. Cornelius Gurlitt décède et lègue sa collection au Kunstmuseum de Berne. Le tableau est finalement restitué à l’héritière de Max Heilbronn.

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Landscape with Smokestacks – Friedrich Gutmann Heirs and Daniel Searle

Landscape with Smokestacks – Friedrich Gutmann Heirs and Daniel Searle

The heirs of Friedrich and Louise Gutmann, filed a claim against the art dealer Daniel Searle, the owner of the painting “Landscape with Smokestacks”. The painting was allegedly looted by the Nazis during the Second World War. After four years of litigation, the parties agreed to share the ownership of the painting.

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Le Grand Pont – Weinmann Heirs and Yale University Art Gallery

Le Grand Pont – Weinmann Heirs and Yale University Art Gallery

The painting “Le Grand Pont”, by Gustave Courbet, was owned by Josephine Weinmann and her family, but after they were forced to flee Germany from Nazi persecution, the painting was purchased by Herbert Schaefer, a Nazi militant. When Schaefer later loaned the painting to the Yale University Art Gallery, Weinmann’s heirs sued for its return.

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Liberation of Saint Peter from Prison – Feldmann Heirs and Private Person

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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Lighthouse With Rotating Beam – Flechtheim Heirs and Kunstmuseum Bonn

Lighthouse With Rotating Beam – Flechtheim Heirs and Kunstmuseum Bonn

The heirs of the art dealer and collector Alfred Flechtheim besought the Kunstmuseum Bonn for the restitution of the painting “Lighthouse With Rotating Beam” by Paul Adolf Seehaus, alleging that it was part of Alfred Flechtheim’s collection before he fled Nazi persecution. After consideration of the claim, the Museum decided to keep the painting, but agreed to reimburse the heirs for half its market value.

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Madame Cézanne in the Conservatory – Konowaloff v. Metropolitan Museum of Art

Madame Cézanne in the Conservatory – Konowaloff v. Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ivan Morozov’s extensive art collection, which included the painting by Cézanne called Madame Cézanne in the Conservatory, was confiscated by the Bolsheviks and declared property of the state. Stephen Clark purchased Madame Cézanne in the Conservatory from the Second Museum of Western Art in 1933. Upon his death, he bequeathed the painting to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Pierre Konowaloff, Morozov’s heir, brought an action for restitution of the painting in the United States federal courts. His claim was unsuccessful and the Metropolitan Museum of Art retained the painting.

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Madonna and Child in a Landscape – Philipp von Gomperz Heirs and North Carolina Museum of Art

Madonna and Child in a Landscape – Philipp von Gomperz Heirs and North Carolina Museum of Art

In 2000, the North Carolina Museum of Art handed over the painting “Madonna and Child in a Landscape” to Philipp von Gomperz’s heirs after being presented with evidence that it had been looted by the Nazis. The heirs rewarded the Museum’s response by selling the painting to it at a price substantially below its market value.

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