Scotland Probing Origins of Chandelier at Scottish First Minister’s Home Claimed to be Nazi Booty
Scotland has launched an investigation into claims by a Jewish human rights group that a chandelier in the home of the country’s first minister was looted by Nazis during World War II, the BBC reported on Sunday.
A 2008 report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) first questioned the origins of the light fixture, which is said to have been found in 1945 abandoned in a street in a northern German city. The SWC said it may in fact have been “looted from the British collecting point at Schloss Celle, or it may be an object looted from legitimate German ownership.”
The Scottish government said it began making inquiries with the National Trust for Scotland, which owns Bute House in central Edinburgh, where the chandelier hangs. The Scottish Treasury acquired the four-story home in 1966 from the Bute family, after which it was passed to the National Trust for Scotland. The house has been the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland since 1999.
A Scottish government spokesperson said officials are seeking to determine who originally owned the chandelier, the BBC said.
“The Simon Wiesenthal Center report raises questions over how the Bute House drawing room chandelier came to be brought to Scotland and into the ownership of the Bute family,” the spokesperson said. “We will discuss this with the National Trust for Scotland, which owns the property and most of the fittings, including the chandelier, to clarify if information on the provenance of the chandelier is contained in the trust’s archives.”