The Nazi Art Trail

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Tuesday February 27

  • NAZI-STOLEN ART IN AUSTRALIA: "The New South Wales Art Gallery, one of the first Australian institutions to review its collection, says nine of the gallery's 40,000 artworks could have been among the many paintings stolen by the Nazis." ABCNews Online 02/27/01

Monday February 26

  • PROVENANCE PROBLEMS: Art collections around the world have taken major strides in the last couple years to repatriate any artwork plundered by the Nazis. Now Australia is also taking a close look at its galleries’ holdings and has already found more than 100 major works with dubious gaps in their ownership. "It is unlikely that there is any major collection that has been active in acquiring in the last 50 years that doesn't have something that came from a [Nazi] source ... such was the scale of the raiding that took place. But to actually locate and find that is extraordinarily difficult." Sydney Morning Herald 2/26/01

Friday February 2

  • WARNING SIGNS: "Art experts at auction powerhouse Christies failed to spot two warning signs that a 15th century painting might have been stolen from a famous Dutch art dealer by Nazi air minister Herman Goering, according to the Art Loss Register." Iwon Money (Reuters) 02/01/01

Friday January 19

  • WARTIME COMPENSATION: "A family that fled from Nazi Germany during the Second World War is to receive £125,000 in compensation from the Government because a painting they sold for food ended up in the Tate gallery." The Independent (London) 01/19/01

Wednesday January 17

  • STOLEN ART INITIATIVE: American museums announced a plan to identify art that might may have been stolen by the Nazis in WWII. "Museums will be asked to disclose on the Internet the identity and chain of ownership of all works in their collections that changed hands during the Nazi years (1932-1945) and could have been in Europe during that period. This new agreement is the latest step in a worldwide effort to identify and recover art confiscated by the Nazis." Washington Post 01/17/01

Thursday January 3, 2001

  • KLIMTS RETURNED: Eight paintings by Gustav Klimt that were stolen by the Nazis and later turned up in an Austrian gallery, have been returned to the family from whom they were stolen and are on display in Canada. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 01/03/01

Thursday December 21

  • SHADY DEALS: "Martin Fabiani, a Paris dealer who was arrested and fined by the Allies after the Second World War for dealing in 'enemy property' and art plundered by the Nazis, supplied Canada's National Gallery with several notable paintings, among them works by Pierre Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne and Edgar Degas. Dealers, such as Mr. Fabiani, took advantage of cut-rate prices on art looted from Jews in Nazi-occupied countries. During the chaos that ensued when France was occupied by the Nazis, dealers like Mr. Fabiani were able to sidestep legal formalities in order to make quick sales." National Post (Canada) 12/21/00

Wednesday December 6

  • MORE POSSIBLE NAZI LOOT: The National Gallery in Ottawa says it has 100 works of art with undocumented provenance during the Nazi era. The museum is posting the artwork to its website in an attempt to track down details. Ottawa Citizen 12/06/00
  • ART STING: U.S. Customs officials in New York marked the opening of a new art fraud investigation center by returning to Germany a 16th-century painting stolen from a German castle by American soldiers after World War II. About 65 percent of all U.S. art imports arrive through the port of New York - investigations there this year alone have already seized $10.5 million worth of stolen art. CNN 12/05/00

Thursday November 30

  • ONUS ON MUSEUMS: "Under the sweeping guidelines, which were approved last month by the American Association of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors, museums must research and disclose on their Web sites the backgrounds of all art works acquired after 1933, when the Nazis took power in Germany, and produced before the conclusion of World War II in 1945." New York Times 11/30/00 (one-time registration required for access)
  • AUSTRIANS TO RETURN KLIMTS: The Austrian government recommends returning paintings by Gustav Klimt stolen during the Nazi era. One of the paintings is worth $9 million "The artworks to be returned include 'Lady with Hat and Feather Boa', a showpiece of the Austrian State Belvedere Museum in Vienna. BBC 11/30/00

Tuesday November 21

  • STOLEN PAINTING RETURNED: Washington's National Gallery is returning a painting to the heir of a collector from whom the painting was stolen by the Nazis. "The painting, 'Still Life with Fruit and Game' by Flemish artist Frans Snyders, depicts a large basket of colorful fruit on a red tablecloth, surrounded by dead game, including birds and a small deer." New York Times 11/20/00 (one-time registration required for access)
  • HITLER'S PRIVATE ART COLLECTION WAS LEGAL? During the Second World War Hitler set up a private museum in Linz and had it stocked with treasures. The last surviving member of the team that acquired the art says that it was all obtained legally and none of it was stolen. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 11/20/00

Monday November 20

  • SWISS BANKS AND THE HOLOCAUST: Swiss banks plan to distribute $1.25 billion in reparations to Holocaust survivors. "Until just recently, Swiss bankers were demanding impossible-to-produce death certificates and other documentation before they would pay out claims." But many of the survivors or their heirs are contesting the settlement. New Jersey Online 11/20/00

Monday November 13

  • STOLEN CEZANNE SEIZED: "The French courts have ordered the seizure of 'The sea at l’Estaque' by Paul Cézanne, currently on show in the Musée du Luxembourg as part of the exhibition “From Fra Angelico to Bonnard: masterpieces from the Rau Collection”, at the request of Michel Dauberville who claims it was stolen from his grandfather, gallery owner Josse Bernheim-Jeune, during World War II." The Art Newspaper 11/10/00
  • GETTING MORE SERIOUS ABOUT STOLEN ART: Christie’s announced that it has helped raise $500,000 for opening up Nazi documentation which is in Russian archives, while Sotheby’s is to assist the Council of Europe in setting up a central website on looted art. These moves reflect the auctioneers’ growing concerns over the problem of war loot. The Art Newspaper 11/10/00

Thursday November 1

  • COMING TO TERMS WITH THE PAST: Germany has only recently begun to come to terms with what to do with art stolen during the Nazi era. But finding solutions is problematic. "What was legal in this criminal era? Was there a semi-normality and a decent, civil art market in the early years of the Nazi regime? This might be determined on the basis of the prices obtained on the art market. Or should all sales of art owned by Jews after 1933 be regarded as 'a result of persecution'?" Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 11/01/00

Monday October 30

  • ADDING UP THE LOSSES: "Up to 600 artworks in British museums and art galleries may have been looted by the Nazis during the Second World War, according to the National Museum Directors' Conference." The Independent 10/27/00

Friday October 27

  • WHERE ARE OWNERS? "An extensive search through Britain's national museums has so far failed to prove that any works were wrongly taken during the Second World War. But there are about 600 items whose whereabouts during the war are unclear, and researchers say they are 'desperate' for public help in tracking their movements." Ananova 10/26/00

Tuesday October 24

  • JUDGE ORDERS PAINTINGS RETURNED: A Budapest judge has ordered the Hungarian government to return 10 paintings - including an El Greco and a Courbet - worth an estimated $20 million, to the American founder of Dansk Designs. The woman's family lost the paintings to the Nazis in World War II. New Jersey Online (AP) 10/24/00

Friday October 20

  • APPARENT HEIR: Boston's Museum of Fine Art has made a deal with the heirs to a painting sold under court order in Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II. "The parties came to a part-purchase, part-donation agreement that will allow the painting to remain in the MFA's collection, and on display in its European paintings galleries." Boston Globe 10/20/00
    • The MFA purchased the painting from a London dealer in 1992 and has had it on display since. The museum was notified of the claim in February and first discussed the situation at a federal hearing on Nazi-looted art in New York City in April. Boston Herald 10/20/00

Thursday October 12

  • UNCOVERING STOLEN ART: Australia's museums have come under criticism for not doing enough to return art in their collections that may have been stolen by the Nazis in World War II. Now the National Gallery of Victoria will list 24 works from its collection on the internet to see if anyone comes forward to claim them. The Age (Melbourne) 10/12/00

Wednesday October 11

  • TOKEN ATTEMPTS: Some 18,000 art objects were catalogued as stolen by the Nazis in Austria after World War II. But despite a law that directs the return of the work, only 152 items have been returned so far. Could it be the Austrian government's attitude? "I cannot give away state assets because of a few moral qualms," says the Austrian minister of Education. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 10/10/00

Sunday October 6

  • GROUP URGES MORE EFFORT ON NAZI-STOLEN ART: Representatives from 37 countries, as well as other non-governmental groups met in Lithuania last week and urged governments to do more to try to return artwork stolen by the Nazis during World War II to rightful owners or their heirs. CBC 10/06/00

Thursday October 3

  • OPEN SECRETS: The U.S. and Russia reached a breakthrough agreement Wednesday at an international conference on the restitution of Holocaust-era art to open their archives to help recover Nazi-looted treasures. Access to Russian archives has been ofcrucial concern to Jewish groups pressing for restitution. Yahoo! News (Reuters) 10/04/00

Sunday September 24

  • RETURNED TO OWNER (OR HEIRS): The two-year-old Commission on Art Recovery brokers a return of art stolen in World War II by the Nazis. "The heirs of Gustav Kirstein, a principal in an art printing firm in Leipzig, will recover an oil painting by Lovis Corinth and some 80 items, primarily drawings, by Max Klinger." Jerusalem Post 09/24/00

Friday August 22

  • CLAIM DENIED: The Wildenstein family rejects "legal claims from the descendants of the Parisian art collector Alphonse Kann for the return of seven illuminated manuscripts which were looted by the Nazis." The Art Newspaper 09/21/00

Friday July 21

  • SERIOUS ABOUT STOLEN ART: The World Jewish Congress says it will step up its efforts to recover artwork stolen by the Nazis and never returned to rightful owners. "The WJC says it plans to claim thousands of works of art from American museums using lists that were made by the U.S. Army after the Second World War." CBC 07/20/00

Thursday July 20

  • FINDERS, KEEPERS… In a victory for all museums hoping to borrow works of art from foreign museums, a federal judge has ruled that the U.S. government cannot force Austria’s Leopold Museum to forfeit an Egon Schiele painting that’s been proven to have been stolen from a Jewish family by the Nazis. On loan to New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the painting had been seized in September under a new state law allowing prosecutors to seize artwork on display while its provenance is under investigation. MSNBC 07/19/00

Thursday July 13

  • THE ART OF NAZI FINANCING: Did Chase Manhattan bank help the German ambassador to France steal Jewish-owned artwork during the Second World War? The World Jewish Congress thusly accused the bank on Wednesday, saying that according to a U.S. Treasury Department report, Chase's French branch was actively aiding Nazi Germany in securing assets. "There is evidence that German assets were placed at Chase, which were used in transactions involving Jewish looted art." Yahoo (Reuters) 07/12/00

Thursday July 6

  • A LOGICAL APPROACH: The Art Loss Register, a private organization dedicated to recovering art looted during WWII, has located and returned art valued at $100 million. How? "The first is the moral argument, the second is the threat of embarrassing negative publicity, which affects both individuals and institutions, and the third is the claim that the work has become completely worthless from a financial standpoint because it can never be sold on the market as long as it remains on the list of looted Holocaust art." Ha'aretz 07/05/00

Wednesday June 21

  • WHAT KIND OF PRIORITY? While museum's on America's East Coast struggle to track down provenance of their artwork for the time around World War II, California museums lag far behind.  "It's a high priority, but we don't have the resources in place," says a spokesperson for the Armand Hammer Museum. Meanwhile, the Getty Museum, just completing a first phase of inquiry, "has found that more than half of its paintings collection has wartime gaps - 248 of its 425 works." Washington Post 06/21/00

Friday June 16

  • THE ART LISTS: It's been two months since American museums put up lists of artwork with questionable provenance during the Nazi era. "So far, no claimants have come forward to identify and seek restitution for objects on the Web sites put up by the Museum of Fine Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, or the Art Institute of Chicago. Nor have the sites yielded significant evidence that could lead to the recovery of stolen objects." Boston Globe 06/16/00

Tuesday June 13

  • 55 YEARS IN THE MAKING: The Art Institute of Chicago has announced the settlement of a claim to one of its sculptures by heirs of a prominent Jewish art collector in France whose holdings were auctioned by the French government during World War II. Chicago Tribune 06/13/00

Monday June 5

  • PROSECUTING MUSEUMS FOR BORROWING: New York state governor signs a law that gives prosecutors the power to bring criminal charges against institutions that borrow stolen work. New York museums have opposed the law, saying it will hurt their ability to borrow artwork. The Art Newspaper 06/05/00

  • ANOTHER PLEA FOR RETURNING THE ELGINS: Greece calls again for the return of the Elgin marbles from the British Museum, but says it might be interested in sharing ownership of the artwork. BBC 06/05/00

  • SORTING OUT OWNERSHIP: Boston's Museum of Fine Art debates the proper way to list artwork with questionable provenance on the internet. Boston Herald 06/05/00 

Sunday June 4

  • LOOTED ART TO STAY IN RALEIGH: After agreeing to give up a painting by Cranach to heirs of the collector it was stolen by the Nazis from, The North Carolina Museum of Art gets a surprise. Rather than selling it on the open market, the heirs sell it back to the museum for a fraction of its value. Scripps Howard 06/03/00

Sunday May 21

  • CONFRONTING THE PAST: Six decades ago, Nazis stole some 300 artworks from Francis Warin's grand-uncle. Only half were ever returned after the war. Warin launched his own search for the art, and the search brought him to the United States, where "he has confronted some of the nation’s most prominent museums with complex and emotional questions likely to be repeated as more heirs eager to recoup their families’ wartime losses come forward with their claims." MSNBC (Washington Post) 05/21/00 

Thursday May 18

  • DID ALBRIGHT'S FATHER STEAL ART? A new biography revives claims that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's father stole paintings after WWII and that the family still has them. Prague Post 05/17/00 

Sunday May 14

  • NO LIBEL: A French appeals court has ruled that art historian Hector Feliciano did not commit libel for suggesting in his book about art stolen by the Nazis that the late art dealer Georges Wildenstein may have collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. Nandotimes 05/13/00

Monday May 1

  • BOOTY EXCHANGE: On Saturday Germany and Russia met in St. Petersburg to swap art they had stolen from one another during World War II. "In exchange for the intricately inlaid chest and glistening mosaic from Peter the Great's famed Amber Room, Russia has agreed to return 101 artworks looted from Germany by Soviet troops after World War II. A Russian law largely bans repatriating booty art, seen by Russians as compensation for an estimated several hundred thousand items destroyed or lost during the Nazi occupation." Chicago Tribune 05/01/00

Thursday April 27

  • MUTUAL RETURN: This weekend Germany and Russia meet to exchange some of the art they stole from one another in World War II. New York Times 04/27/00 (one-time registration required for entry)


  • FOLLOW THE LEADER: Given the quick success of British and German web lists of artwork of questionable provenance, American museums discover the internet as well. Yesterday the Metropolitan Museum posted a list of 393 paintings whose ownership histories have any gap between 1933 and 1945. Then the Museum of Modern Art followed suit with a list of the known provenance of 15 works acquired after 1933. New York Times 04/13/00 (one-time registration required for entry) 

  • DITTO CHICAGO'S ART INSTITUTE: 500 works listed by the museum. Chicago Tribune 04/13/00

  • WHY NOW? And by the way, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets asked the heads of four major museums yesterday, just how serious are you about this issue? And why is Boston's Museum of Fine Art's list so thin? Boston Herald 04/13/00 

  • THE MET, MOMA AND THE MFA trooped before the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets Wednesday to declare their intention to resolve provenance issues. The commission acts as a national body examining what stolen war-era assets exist in the United States and oversees the research to identify them. Newsday 04/13/00

  • FIRST CLAIMS: Boston's MFA acknowledges that a family has made a claim for one of the European paintings in the museum's collection that was stolen and sold in France during the Nazi occupation. The MFA responds: "We have researched the claim and found it to be completely valid and have since been discussing an amicable resolution with the claimant. The claim-ant wishes to keep the painting at the MFA and we are working toward that end.'' Boston Herald 04/13/00

  • IF THE INFORMATION HAD BEEN AVAILABLE IN THE FIRST PLACE... Less than two hours after Boston's Museum of Fine Arts put up a website Monday providing details about seven paintings that might have been looted during the Holocaust, the museum received an e-mail providing information about one of the paintings. Boston Herald 04/12/00

  • Boston's Museum of Fine Arts posts web list of seven European paintings whose provenance, or history of ownership, may implicate them in the widespread looting of art in Europe during the Nazi era. Boston Globe 04/11/00

  • MFA acknowledges that "there are gaps in the ownership history of at least 200 other works in its European collection and that some of these artworks also could be cause for concern." Boston Herald 04/11/00

  • MINISTER OF DEFENSE: British arts minister Alan Howarth announced the creation of a new panel to further investigate the Nazi provenance of art in British collections. But he also tried to defuse the recent publicity, declaring: “In fact, the museums and galleries were simply announcing findings about uncertain provenance. It does not follow that because there is a gap in the recorded history of a particular item it must have been looted. Whatever wrongs were done in the Nazi era, works of art held in our public collections were - we should start by assuming - acquired in good faith and have probably been held for the public benefit.” The Guardian 04/13/00  

  • St. Louis Museum investigating four of its paintings - including a Max Beckman and a Matisse to check Nazi provenance. St. Louis Post-Dispatch 04/12/00

  • YOUR LIST OF LISTS: Germany posts list of Nazi-stolen art on the internet. "Over 2,200 works of art, as well as 10,000 books and coins have already been indexed on the pages of These works have been called the "Linzer Collection" because they include paintings intended by Hitler for a "Führer Museum" in the Austrian city of Linz." Die Welt 04/11/00

  • NEW TOOL: "The Internet makes this information available to the most people possible. Those who have survived can now easily search for what they have lost. If they are unable, their children or grandchildren can search for them." Wired 04/11/00

  • QUESTIONS OF WHERE: All well and good to talk about tracking down provenance of a work of art - of course it's the right thing to do. But actually doing it and making it stick isn't always so easy. Boston Globe 04/10/00 

  • NO ONE SAID IT WOULD BE EASY: Efforts by the Art Loss Register to repatriate Nazi-confiscated artworks to their rightful owners have been stymied by a little-known German tax code. “We certainly have the impression that there exists a willingness to return property to its legal owners,” says the Register’s director Sara Jackson. “However, it is unclear to us how this willingness corresponds with a German law that went into effect in 1988.” Ha’aretz 04/09/00

  • ONLY 55 YEARS LATE: Germany will publish a list of several thousand works of art stolen from museums and individuals across Europe in an effort to restore some of it with its rightful owners. Financial Times 04/06/00

  • THE PROBLEM LIST: After months of delay, Boston's Museum of Fine Art has decided to share with the world information about artwork it has that may be suspected of being stolen. The MFA will post information about these works on the internet. Boston Globe 03/25/00
  • MFA to accelerate information process. Boston Herald 03/25/00
  • Twelve to 15 artworks may have problems. New York Times (AP) 03/26/00
  • LET THE LAWSUIT COMMENCE: After it was discovered the Seattle Art Museum was in possession of a Matisse stolen by the Nazis during WWII, they were ordered to return it to its original heir. Then SAM tried to sue the New York art gallery who sold them the piece, but the judge threw out the case. In light of new evidence, however, the judge has decided to let the trial go ahead. Seattle Times 03/25/00
  • DELAYED RESPONSE: Trustees of The Boston Museum of Fine Art met last night to approve a plan to which would reveal which pieces of artwork in its collection may have been stolen by the Nazis during WWII. While the "plan" is still a mystery to the public, the MFA is expected to make a statement sometime today, and may announce some of the names of the questionable pieces as early as next month. Boston Herald 03/24//00
  • QUIT STALLING! It's been two years since the Boston Museum of Fine Art declared they would conduct an inquiry on works that may have been stolen by the Nazis during the Holocaust...with what appears to be strong evidence that the MFA is in fact in possession of looted art, critics say the museum is purposely stalling. ``'If there is a good reason for not releasing those questionable works, the museum should present that. Disclosure is important here, and sometimes people lose sight of the importance of disclosure, even if they are pursuing the truth.''' Boston Herald 0 3/21/00
  • GERMAN MUSEUM returns Nazi-looted painting to heirs. Chicago Tribune (AP) 03/14/00
  • FIRST RETURNS: A painting has been returned by a British museum after a list published by the government last week. "The Three Stages of Life" (1898) a triptych by Count Leopold von Kalckreuth, part of a traveling show at the Royal Academy of Arts called "1900: Art at the Crossroads," is the first restitution of a painting on view in a British institution. New York Times 03/14/00 (one-time registration required for entry)
  • ANOTHER NAZI CLAIM: The heir of a German industrialist is seeking a 19th-century landscape by Courbet from the Art Institute of Chicago, that she says was stolen from her father by Nazis in WWII. Her successful bid last summer for a van Gogh drawing, L'Olivette, from a Berlin museum has been widely credited with accelerating Germany's program to return looted art. Jerusalem Post 03/12/00
  • INVESTIGATION ON: A number of American museums are now checking to see if any of the artwork they own might have been stolen by the Nazis during the Second World War. Suspected works include a Rembrandt and a Courbet. CNN 03/10/00
  • MADONNA SUSPECT: The LA County Museum of Art says it is investigating whether a Madonna and Child tempura panel painted around 1425 went through the hands of one of the most important art dealers the Nazis used in their wholesale plundering of Jewish assets, Hans Wendland. Times of India (AP) 03/10/00
  • Painting uncovered on check of the museum's collection for items of questionable provenance. Los Angeles Times 03/09/00

  • NOW THAT BRITAIN HAS COME CLEAN... by publishing a list of art in British museums that might have been stolen by the Nazis, what are American museums waiting for? "How is it possible that in Britain alone there are 350 works that may have been stolen and U.S. museums can't find any?" asked Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress. Seattle Post-Intelligencer (AP) 03/02/00

  • An example to the world. Chicago Tribune 03/01/00

  • ARTLISTING: Publication of a list of 350 artworks in Britain with questionable provenance during Nazi years, had British museum organization on the defensive Tuesday. "in Britain some museum directors after the war had not been 'fastidious' about checking whether paintings they bought or were given might have had a Nazi connection. But the organization believes many of the gaps in history are innocent but cannot yet be explained because papers have been lost, owners have died or dealers and auction houses are unwilling to release documents." London Telegraph 03/01/00

  • List "far less sensational" than headlines suggest. London Telegraph 03/01/00 

  • Proving ownership difficult. London Telegraph 03/01/00

  • "No factual evidence that any of the works had been stolen by the Nazis" New York Times 03/01/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • OWNERSHIP QUESTIONS: British report says some 300 works of art in UK museums have questionable WWII provenance and could have been stolen by Nazis from their rightful owners. The Guardian 02/29/00

  • NAZI LOOT: British museums and galleries announce a list of art they hold that was looted by the Nazis and never returned to rightful owners. So will the art be returned? Not necessarily. "Arts Minister Alan Howarth told the BBC's 'Newsnight' program: 'Just as it was wrong to take paintings off Jewish people in the circumstances of the Nazi era, so it would be wrong without a proper basis of evidence to take paintings off the national collections which are held for the public benefit.'" BBC 02/29/00

  • WHAT'S FAIR? "It is entirely proper that stolen pictures, especially those taken in the appalling circumstances of Europe under Nazi domination, should be returned to the families of their pre-war owners, but publishing lists of this kind invites false claims made, not with mischievous intentions, but through errors of recollection after 60 years or more - one Picasso looks much like another after so long a time. It is possible, even probable, that the list will provoke false memories, and once a false claim is made it may well be difficult for the gallery in question to prove or disprove the claim, leaving ownership in limbo." Evening Standard 02/29/00

  • RETURN TO OWNERS: Germany and Russia finally come to terms on returning some of the art they looted from one another during the Second World War. ARTNews 03/00

  • NAZI RETURNS: On the eve of announcement of a British government plan for compensation to Holocaust survivors and their families for artwork looted by the Nazis now residing in British museums, a controversy erupts. Jewish community leaders and art experts are protesting that the plan is inadequate. London Evening Standard 02/025/00

  • LOOTED ART: Several prominent British art museums are expected to announce this week that they are in possession of artworks stolen by the Nazis in the World War II. The Tate alone is said to have 100 such works. Jerusalem Post 02/22/00

  • NAZI PLUNDER: The Nazis stole 600,000 pieces of art in Germany and the countries they occupied during Hitler's 12 years in power, says the U.S. government's top expert in stolen art from that era. The Oregonian (AP) 02/14/00

  • TURNING TABLES: A German court has issued an injunction to bar the return of a painting with questionable provenance to its American owner: the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The painting is "Bauhaus Staircase" by Oskar Schlemmer, painted in 1932, considered an icon of the Modern's collection and usually on view in the permanent-collection galleries. The painting had been on loan for an exhibition at the National Gallery in Berlin that closed on Jan. 9. Ironically the Modern has been in a similar dispute of its own over ownership of an Egon Schiele painting that had been lent to MOMA. New York Times 02/10/00 (one-time registration required for access) 

  • PAINTING RETURN: "After confirming that one of its most prized paintings had been stolen by the Nazis during World War II from an Austrian Jewish art collector, the North Carolina Museum of Art announced plans this week to give the painting back to its rightful owners, two sisters in Austria." New York Times 02/06/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • NAZI-STOLEN BOOKS: As World War II was coming to a close, staffers of the Library of Congress fanned out in Germany scouring Nazi book collections and picking out volumes for the Washington library - more than 1 million of them. Now - 55 years later - the US army captain in charge of the mission says that many of the books taken had been looted from Jewish homes, libraries or synagogues by the Nazis, and that these books are sitting unacknowledged on the shelves of the Library of Congress and other American libraries. Washington Post 01/05/00

  • ANOTHER NAZI ART CLAIM: Two sisters in North Carolina make claim on a 16th Century Madonna. CBC 11/9/99 
  • JUDGE RULES SEATTLE ART MUSEUM can't sue New York art dealer for selling Matisse painting stolen by Nazis. Ruling could have implications for other museums. 
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer 10/15/99





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