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German museum agrees to restitute Nazi-looted drawings

(JTA) — The city of Cologne agreed to return six valuable drawings looted by the Nazis from a Jewish art collector.

The drawings will be restituted from the Ludwig Museum to the heirs of Alfred Flechtheim, the German museum said Wednesday. They will remain on public display in the museum, according to Mel Urbach, one of the attorneys representing the heirs.

The drawings are by Karl Hofer, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Ernst Barlach, Aristide Maillol and Wilhelm Morgner.

Flechtheim was an art collector in Germany. Hundreds of his paintings went missing after the Nazis came to power and took over his gallery in Dusseldorf. He and his wife fled to London in 1933; he died there four years later.

In recent years, Flechtheim’s heirs have been working to reconstruct his extensive collection.

“There are dozens of famous paintings and artifacts still at large in many museums,” according to Urbach and Markus Stoetzel.

The Ludwig Museum also agreed to restitute five drawings by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel and Georges Kars to the heirs of Curt Glaser. The drawings also will remain on display at the museum and eventually will go on display in the city of Cologne, according to the museum.

Glaser, an art collector who has served as the director of the National Art Library in Berlin until the Nazis came to power, auctioned off most of his collection in 1933 in order to flee the country.

Also Wednesday, Germany’s Finance Ministry announced that it would not return two 18th-century paintings by Bernardo Bellotto to the heirs of Max Emden. The ministry said the sale of the paintings was not forced because he had already left Germany for Switzerland when they were sold, The Associated Press reported.

 

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