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About the Exhibition אודות התערוכה

 

       
       
       


 

Works Purchased on the Paris Art Market


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About the Exhibition
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Works of Art Seized by
Nazi Organizations

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The ERR’s Exchange
Operations

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Post-War Restitutions
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Works Purchased on the
Paris Art Market

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Works of Unknown Origin
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Works Returned to
France by Germany in 1994

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With the liberation of Europe, works that had been purchased by German and Austrian museums from art galleries or dealers in Paris came under close scrutiny, as did individuals involved in these transactions. In the context of reparations for wartime damages wrought to France’s cultural heritage, these artworks of museum quality were evidently highly significant.

Upon the fall of the Reich, German museums were required to provide lists of artworks purchased in the occupied countries, which were then compared with French inventories. These documents revealed that 510 MNR works, including 239 paintings, came from these museums. The overvalued Reichsmark facilitated acquisitions by museums that were already active in the Parisian art market during the interwar period, and which enjoyed administrative privileges allowing them to easily obtain the export licenses made compulsory by a French law passed on June 23, 1941. An important part of the recuperated works came from museums throughout the Rhineland, in particular the Städtische Kunstsammlungen in Düsseldorf (87 objects, including 37 paintings), the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld (73 objects, including 59 paintings), the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn (24 paintings), and the Wallraf Richard Museum in Cologne (21 paintings). Because of the USSR’s position on matters of restitution, no objects or artworks were recovered from museums located in the Soviet occupation zone.

Recent research has revealed the importance of ascertaining the methods of acquisition used by art dealers and intermediaries, in order to identify instances where Jews persecuted by racial laws may have sold artworks under duress.

 

 

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