Norway museum returns stolen WWII Matisse to former Jewish owner’s heirs / News / The Foreigner

Norway museum returns stolen WWII Matisse to former Jewish owner’s heirs. The 1937 painting ‘Woman in Blue in Front of a Fireplace’ has remained a centrepiece in the Henie Onstad Art Centre near Oslo since the museum’s first establishment in 1968. The painting which was looted by Hermann Goering more than 70 years ago is to be returned to the family of Jewish art-dealer Paul Rosenberg. Henri Matisse’s work could be worth USD 20 million (around NOK 100 million). It was taken by Goering after Rosenberg fled to New York in 1940. The painting was then sold to a Parisian art dealer who was later convicted of dealing Nazi-looted artwork.

matisse, nazis, art, stolen, jews



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Norway museum returns stolen WWII Matisse to former Jewish owner’s heirs

Published on Monday, 24th March, 2014 at 20:04 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock.

The 1937 painting ‘Woman in Blue in Front of a Fireplace’ has remained a centrepiece in the Henie Onstad Art Centre near Oslo since the museum’s first establishment in 1968.

Henie Onstad Art Centre, eastern Norway
The museum decided to return the work unconditionally.Henie Onstad Art Centre, eastern Norway
Photo: Leifern/Wikimedia Commons


The painting which was looted by Hermann Goering more than 70 years ago is to be returned to the family of Jewish art-dealer Paul Rosenberg.

Henri Matisse’s work could be worth USD 20 million (around NOK 100 million). It was taken by Goering after Rosenberg fled to New York in 1940. The painting was then sold to a Parisian art dealer who was later convicted of dealing Nazi-looted artwork.

Rosenberg acquired the painting from Matisse the year it was painted, placing it in a bank vault along with the ‘Woman with a Fan’ and 160 others before escaping Nazi persecution in 1940.

The Nazis then raided the vault in 1941, with the ‘Woman in Blue’ becoming part of Goering’s collection, The painting would then become the possession of Galerie Henri Benezit in Paris.

In June 2012, the Rosenberg family notified the museum of their claim to the painting, which instigated an investigation into the painting’s past. It was concluded that the claim to the artwork was legitimate following extensive research by the Henie Onstad Art Centre.

Norwegian law would have allowed the museum to keep the portrait which was purchased in good faith by the founder and has been a main attraction of the Henie Onstad Art Centre. However, the museum’s chairman Halvor Stenstadvold said returning it was “the right thing to do.”

“Ultimately, it was the strength of the moral claim that persuaded the Henie Onstad Art Centre to restitute this painting unconditionally to the Rosenberg heirs,” said lawyer Chris Marinello of Art Recovery Group, representing the family.



Published on Monday, 24th March, 2014 at 20:04 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock.

This post has the following tags: matisse, nazis, art, stolen, jews.





  
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