Restitution Cases in the Press

July 10 2020

Image of Restitution Cases in the Press

Picture: The Art Newspaper

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

There have been a few stories in the press recently about paintings with murky WWII histories.

Firstly, the above La Palais Ducale by Monet valued at $30m was prevented from going into auction at Christie's last November due to legal wrangling in the courts.

The painting's current owners, heirs of sewing machine business owners Herbert and Adele Klapper, have been prevented from selling the work due to doubts cast over its Nazi-era sales history by the grandsons of the German-Jewish department store magnate and art collector Max Emden (1874-1940). The Klapper heirs are currently suing the Emden estate in an attempt to clear its title to the painting so that it can be sold. The case has been adjourned until September due to the coronavirus.

Secondly, Sotheby's is to offer a Bernardo Bellotto landscape of Dresden which was recently restituted to the estate of the same Max Emden above. The painting was sold by Emden in 1937 in an attempt stave off insolvency after his businesses were seized by the Nazis in the previous years. This painting entered the German federal collection in the 1960s and had been hanging in the residence of the German Presidency until 2005.

The painting will feature in the Sotheby's July Old Master Paintings sale and carries an estimate of £150,000 - £200,000.

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