France returns art stolen by Nazis

(JTA) — France’s Ministry of Culture returned seven valuable paintings looted by the Nazis during the Holocaust from two Jewish families.

Six of the paintings were given to Boston-area resident Thomas Selldorff, 84, who came to Paris to collect the works during a ceremony Tuesday at the ministry in Paris, according to Le Parisien. Another painting was returned the same day to a lawyer representing the relatives of Josef Weiner, a banker from Prague who was murdered by the Nazis in 1942. 

The paintings were part of various collections in France, including the Louvre in Paris and the museums of Tours, Saint-Etienne and Agen, but they belonged to Selldorff’s grandfather, Richard Neumann, an Austrian industrialist who escaped the extermination of Jews by fleeing to Cuba with his wife and daughter, Le Monde reported.

Following a lengthy process, the French CIVS Holocaust restitution committee determined in December that Selldorff was the legal owner of the paintings.

Another 2,000 artworks that may have been looted by the Nazis and are in the hands of the French state or various museums because their owners are classified as unknown, according to Le Figaro.

NEXT STORY