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Artwork/oeuvre d’art

Madonna and Child with Wild Roses – Gross-Eisenstadt Heirs and Utrecht City Council

Madonna and Child with Wild Roses – Gross-Eisenstadt Heirs and Utrecht City Council

German-Jewish businessman Richard Semmel had an extensive art collection which he was forced to sell after fleeing Jewish persecution in Germany. Among this collection was the painting “Madonna and Child with Wild Roses” by Jan van Scorel.

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Manuscrit du Marquis de Sade – Héritier Nordmann et héritier de Noailles et Gérard Lhéritier

Manuscrit du Marquis de Sade – Héritier Nordmann et héritier de Noailles et Gérard Lhéritier

Les « Cent Vingt Journées de Sodome » du Marquis de Sade avait été dérobé à la famille de Nouailles puis acquis par un collectionneur suisse – Gérard Nordmann – qui a toujours refusé de la rendre. C’est grâce à un accord entre l’héritier des Nouailles et l’héritier Nordmann que le manuscrit a pu retourner en France, où il a été classé trésor national en 2017.

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Marienkirche Window Panels – Germany and Russia, State Hermitage Museum, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts

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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Matisse Painting – Jeanneret v. Vichey

Matisse Painting – Jeanneret v. Vichey

A painting by Henri Matisse was unlawfully exported from Italy to New York because its owner, Anna Vichey, never acquired the mandatory export license in 1970. The painting was then sold to a Swiss art dealer named Marie Jeanneret and delivered to Geneva, Switzerland. After discovering the cloud on the title of the painting, Mme. Jeanneret was unable to sell the painting.

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Nähschule – Max Silberberg Heirs and Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur

Nähschule – Max Silberberg Heirs  and Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur

The painting, “Nähschule – Arbeitssaal im Amsterdamer Waisenhaus” by Max Lieberman, was bequeathed to the Art Museum in Chur (Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur) in 1992, and was claimed in 1999 by the heir of Max Silberberg. The Jewish art collector was forced to sell it in 1934 due to great financial pressure under the growing persecution of Jews at the prelude to the Second World War. In May 2000, the Art Museum in Chur agreed to an unconditional restitution of the painting to the heir.

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Nature morte au tableau de Picasso – Héritiers Schlesinger et Phillips

Nature morte au tableau de Picasso – Héritiers Schlesinger et Phillips

En 1925, Ernst Schlesinger lègue à Johanna Meyer-Udewald l’usufruit d’une toile de Picasso (« Nature morte au tableau »). De confession juive, Johanna Meyer-Udewald est faite prisonnière par les Nazis et la toile passe par diverses mains avant d’arriver dans celles de Duncan C. Phillips, qui l’acquiert sans connaître son histoire.

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Odalisque Painting – Paul Rosenberg Heirs and Seattle Art Museum

Odalisque Painting – Paul Rosenberg Heirs and Seattle Art Museum

In June 1999, the Seattle Art Museum returned the painting Oriental Woman Seated on Floor (also known as Odalisque), by Henri Matisse, to the heirs of Paul Rosenberg. The painting was donated to the museum in 1991 by the Bloedel family.

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On the Shore of the Seine – United States v. Baltimore Museum of Art

On the Shore of the Seine –  United States v. Baltimore Museum of Art

In 1951, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s painting “On the shore of the Seine” was stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art in the United States. Over fifty years later, Marcia Fuqua bought this painting for US $7 at a flea market and tried to auction it off after learning of its value.

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Portrait d’Isabelle d’Este – Cecchini c. Italie

Portrait d’Isabelle d’Este – Cecchini c. Italie

Dans le cadre d’une procédure pénale, le procureur du Tribunal de Pesaro (Italie) a adressé à la Suisse une demande d’entraide judiciaire portant sur un tableau attribué à Leonardo da Vinci qui aurait été transféré d’Italie en Suisse, par sa propriétaire, sans l’autorisation des autorités italiennes. Après avoir fait séquestrer le tableau, le Ministère public du Tessin ordonne la remise de ce dernier à l’Italie. La propriétaire de l’œuvre recourt contre cette décision jusqu’au Tribunal fédéral, qui casse la décision précédente.

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Portrait of a Young Peasant – Beyeler v. Italy

Portrait of a Young Peasant – Beyeler v. Italy

In its judgment of 5 January 2000, the European Court of Human Rights held that the Italian State violated Mr. Beyeler’s right to peaceful enjoyment of his possessions while using its pre-emption right over the Van Gogh painting “Portrait of a Young Peasant”.

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Portrait of a Youth – Reichel Heirs v. Sarah Blodgett Dunbar

Portrait of a Youth – Reichel Heirs v. Sarah Blodgett Dunbar

In the mid-2000s, Claudia Seger-Thomschitz, one of the heirs of Oskar Reichel, attempted to recover the painting “Portrait of a Youth” from Sarah Blodgett Dunbar on the grounds that it had been lost as a result of Nazi persecution. The 2010 appeal decision of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals settled the case in favour of Sarah Blodgett Dunbar.

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Portrait of Greta Moll – Moll Heirs v. National Gallery of London

Portrait of Greta Moll – Moll Heirs v. National Gallery of London

The “Portrait of Greta Moll” has been subject to a claim for return. The heirs of the painting’s subject argued the painting was stolen in the aftermath of the Second World War and claimed that the National Gallery of London did not purchase the work in good faith. The case has been heard in two courts of the United States.

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Portrait of Wally – United States and Estate of Lea Bondi and Leopold Museum

Portrait of Wally – United States and Estate of Lea Bondi and Leopold Museum

After having been taken from Lea Bondi, a Jew forced to flee Austria following the Anschluss, the painting “Portrait of Wally” by Egon Schiele was seized by the US Forces at the end of the war. The portrait was first returned by the US Restitution Division to the Austrian Federal Office for Preservation of Historical Monument (BDA).

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Pulcinell Sculpture – Budge Heirs v. Anonymous Purchaser

Pulcinell Sculpture – Budge Heirs v. Anonymous Purchaser

A sculpture of Pulcinell was purchased by an anonymous buyer at auction in London in 2016. The buyer applied for an export license and the case came before the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest of the United Kingdom. During the review, it was discovered that the sculpture had been subject to forced sale by Nazis in 1937. The heirs of Emma Budge, the dispossessed owner of the sculpture, discovering what had become of the sculpture, attempted to secure its restitution.

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Quedlinburg Treasures – Quedlinburg Church and Meador Heirs

Quedlinburg Treasures – Quedlinburg Church and Meador Heirs

After the withdrawal of US troops from the medieval town of Quedlinburg in Nazi Germany, the “Quedlinburg Treasures” were found to be missing. This theft was perpetrated by US soldier Joe T. Meador. After his death, the manuscripts passed on to his brother and sister who attempted to sell them. Some manuscripts were purchased by West German entities, whereas the Church of Quedlinburg purchased the rest of the treasures pursuant to a settlement agreement with the Meador Heirs.

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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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Sammlung 101 - City of Bremen, Kunsthalle Bremen and Russia

Sammlung 101 - City of Bremen, Kunsthalle Bremen and Russia

In the 1990s, Russia and the City of Bremen began to negotiate for the return of “Sammlung 101”, a collection of 101 drawings. The drawings were transferred from the Kunsthalle Bremen (Bremen Art Museum) to Russia in the aftermath of the Second World War by a Soviet soldier.

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Schiele Drawing – Grunbaum Heirs v. David Bakalar

Schiele Drawing – Grunbaum Heirs v. David Bakalar

In 1938, the Nazi expropriated the art collection of Fritz Grunbaum while he was detained in Dachau concentration camp. In 1963, David Bakalar purchased a Schiele drawing that had belonged to the Grunbaum family from a gallery in Bern.

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Six Klimt paintings – Maria Altmann and Austria

Six Klimt paintings – Maria Altmann and Austria

Maria Altmann brought suit in the United States against the Republic of Austria and the Austrian National Gallery to recover six paintings by Gustav Klimt that the Nazis took during the Second World War from her Jewish relatives, Ferdinand and Adele Bloch-Bauer. Although the Supreme Court of the United States lifted Austria’s jurisdictional immunity, the disputants reached an agreement to end the litigation and submit the dispute to arbitration in Austria. The arbitration panel ruled that Austria was obliged to return five of the Klimt’s masterpieces to Maria Altmann.

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St. Agatha Statue – St. Martin’s Church and Private Person

St. Agatha Statue – St. Martin’s Church and Private Person

In November 2012, Sotheby’s offered at auction a meter-tall statue of St. Agatha, by the Dutch sculptor Jan van Steffieswert (1465-1530). It was stolen in 1976 from St. Martin’s Church, in Gronsveld, the Netherlands.

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