|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Wednesday, August 17, 2022
|France to return Klimt painting to rightful heirs after Nazi-era sale|
Roselyne Bachelot, Frances Culture Minister, at an event to announce the restitution of Gustav Klimts Rosebushes Under the Trees, in Paris on Monday.
by Aurelien Breeden
PARIS (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- France will return the only painting by Gustav Klimt in its national collection to the heirs of Nora Stiasny, a Jewish woman who sold it under duress after the Nazis annexed Austria, Frances Culture minister announced Monday.
The minister, Roselyne Bachelot, said it was difficult but necessary for France to part with Klimts Rosebushes Under the Trees, which she called a masterpiece.
It is the completion of an act of justice, Bachelot said at a news conference in Paris, standing beside the early-20th-century painting, a lush, green canvas dotted with specks of floral color.
Rosebushes Under the Trees, which currently resides at the Musée dOrsay in the city, was not part of the special inventory of looted artworks returned from Germany to France after World War II ended. Unlike those artworks, which are not fully part of Frances national collections, the Klimt painting, which was bought in 1980, is legally considered the countrys inalienable property.
That means Parliament will have to pass a bill authorizing the restitution, which Bachelot said would be done as soon as possible.
Alfred Noll, an Austrian lawyer representing Stiasnys heirs, said at the news conference that the family was very satisfied and very grateful.
Stiasny was born in 1898 to a Jewish family in Vienna. The painting was passed on to her from her uncle, Viktor Zuckerkandl, a wealthy steel magnate and art collector who had bought Rosebushes Under the Trees in 1911.
But after the Nazis annexed Austria, she was forced to sell it in 1938 for next to nothing to survive, Bachelot said. Stiasny was deported to Poland in 1942 and died that year, as did her husband and son.
Ruth Pleyer, an Austrian art expert who researched the paintings provenance and advised Stiasnys heirs, said at the news conference that for the family, the restitution was the equivalent of a miracle.
Stiasny had been driven out of her home and most of her personal effects were thrown away after her deportation, Pleyer said, leaving few traces.
The man who bought the painting in 1938, a Nazi sympathizer and so-called friend who instigated the sale, according to Bachelot, kept it until his death in 1960. The French state bought it from an art gallery in 1980 as officials were building up the countrys collection of modern art in the years leading up to the opening of the Musée dOrsay.
France inquired about the paintings origins at the time but found no evidence it had been sold under duress, officials stressed Monday.
All the necessary verifications had been carried out, Bachelot said, adding that it was only in recent years that French and Austrian researchers and historians had been able to retrace the paintings full journey, a process that was particularly arduous because of the destruction of most proof and the erosion of family memories, she added.
Laurence des Cars, the Musée dOrsays director, said at the event Monday that the Austrian ambassador to France first informed the French authorities in July 2018 that the painting had been sold under duress, according to newly discovered documents. Des Cars said that the French authorities immediately started investigating the matter.
In 2019, a new task force was given a broader mandate to search for and return artwork that had been looted or sold under duress during the Nazi occupation, after years of criticism that French efforts had not been proactive enough. Bachelot noted, for instance, that the Louvre was currently reviewing all acquisitions it made between 1933 and 1945.
In 2017 Austria returned another, similar Klimt painting, Apple Tree II, to Stiasnys heirs, but the Austrian authorities later concluded that the restitution had been a mistake. Experts ultimately determined that it was Rosebushes Under the Trees not Apple Tree II that should be returned to Stiasnys heirs.
© 2021 The New York Times Company
March 16, 2021
France to return Klimt painting to rightful heirs after Nazi-era sale
The Met Opera's musicians, unpaid since April, are struggling
Online sales save art market: report
Meadows Museum celebrates the 20th anniversary of its 66,000-square-foot building
Banksy's cheeky parody of Demi Moore's iconic Vanity Fair cover to make auction debut
The MCA and Tate announce new acquisitions
LACMA will reopen its galleries to the public on April 1
British Museum announces Lampedusa Cross to tour UK for the first time on 10th anniversary of Syrian Revolution
Two breathtaking bracelets take centre stage in Sotheby's Hong Kong Jewellery Auction
Exhibition of mixed media paintings by Vivian Suter opens at Gladstone Gallery
Toledo Museum of Art adds works of art to its collection
Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Week totals $98,323,250
Amplifier launches #Vaccinated, global public art campaign to spread accurate COVID-19 vaccine information
The David Roche Foundation opens 'Captain Cook & the Art of Memorabilia'
National Building Museum announces Aileen Fuchs as new Executive Director
Furniture by George Nakashima headlines Ahlers & Ogletree auction
Pace Gallery opens an exhibition that brings together 45 photographs by David Goldblatt
Bonhams appoints Leslie Wright as Chairman North America
'Mank' leads Oscars nominations in record year for women
Music world taps 'NFT' digital goldrush
Hong Kong protest film screening pulled after media attacks
Carmel Quinn, Irish singer and storyteller, dies at 95
Flory Jagoda, keeper of Sephardic music tradition, dies at 97
Ralph Ellison-inspired exhibition examines violent histories in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and America
Change Up Your Living Space with Wall Art
Drugs make your life rough
Relationship/Marital Crises of Donald Trump and Melania Trump
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.