Hunting Hitler's Cranach

June 4 2015

Image of Hunting Hitler's Cranach

Picture: TAN

Martin Bailey in The Art Newspaper reports that a German museum is trying again to find a Cranach looted from Germany after the war. The picture, Venus and Cupid the Honey Thief, was part of the Weimar state art collection, but was hung in Hitler's breakfast room at the Elephant Hotel in Weimar.

The curator of a new exhibition on Cranach has suggested it must have been taken by a US soldier, though there is no hard evidence of this. It was sold at Sotheby's in London in 1970, and is now thought to be in the posession of a Zurich banker, or his family. Apparently, under Germany's statute of limitations - the same ones which complicated restitution in the Gurlitt case - the picture will be hard to legally return. There's an irony in there somewhere.

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