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January 26, 2020 10:55 am

Germany Returns Nazi-Looted Art to Descendants of French Jewish Collector

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Jean-Louis Forain, a French Impressionist painter. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – The German government on Wednesday returned three works of art stolen from a Jewish lawyer and collector during the Nazi occupation of France to descendants of their original owner, reported France 24.

The two paintings—Dame en Robe du Soir (“Woman in an Evening Gown”) and Portrait d’une Dame (“Portrait of a Woman”), both by Jean-Louis Forain, were handed over to the relatives of Armand Dorville, along with a drawing by Constantin Guys, a Dutch-born Frenchman who was a Crimean war correspondent.

Dorville died in 1941. His works were distributed to museums and private collectors, according to France 24. His family was unable to flee France when it was occupied by the Nazis from 1940-44; most of them were killed.

“It is no longer possible to make up for the suffering of the Dorville family under the Nazi persecution, but we must render them visible and this restitution comprises an important gesture of historic justice,” said Germany’s commissioner for culture and the media, Monika Gruetters.

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The artwork is among hundreds of Nazi-looted items logged for return to owners or their descendants after they were seized from the home of German-Austrian collector Cornelius Gurlitt, who died in 2014.

Gurlitt inherited the vast collection of paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures from his father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, a part-Jewish art dealer who sold works stolen or confiscated from Jewish owners by the Nazis. Hildebrand died in 1956.

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