The French government is to return paintings stolen by the Nazis to their rightful owners. However, given that seven decades have passed, the paintings will go to their descendants.
Last month, President Francois Hollande’s administration set up a group of experts to pro-actively track down families, rather than simply wait for them to come forward.
We have a moral obligation to show we have done our best to return these things to their rightful owners,” said Corinne Bouchoux, a Green Party member of the French Senate.
“And we have to do this now before it is too late. We have to try to find the families whose belongings were stolen. We have to look for them, not wait for them to come to us.”
U.S.-based Thomas Selldorff will receive six of the seven paintings. His grandfather, Austrian industrialist and art collector Richard Neumann had to leave his paintings behind as he fled Nazi occupied France.
The seven paintings being returned are among those once destined for a gallery Adolf Hitler, an art lover, wanted to build in the Austrian city of Linz.
Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazis stole about 100,000 paintings, sculptures, and other valuables in Jewish private collections across Europe.
Here are the seven works in question-
-The Allegory of Venice by Italian painter Gaspare Diziani.
-Saint Francis by Italian painter Francesco Fontebasso.
-Portrait of Bartolomeo Ferracina by Italian painter Alessandro Longhi.
-Abraham and the Three Angels by Italian painter Sebastiano Ricci.
-The Miracle of Saint Eloi by Italian painter Gaetano Gandolfi.
-The Apotheosis of John of Nepomuk by German painter François-Charles Palko.