The fight over a Czech villa that belonged to a Jewish family took a new twist with the auction by the family of a statue for $2.24 million. A 1914 torso by Wilhelm Lehmbruck was the only piece of art chosen for the Tugendhat Villa in Brno by its famous architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The heirs of Greta and Fritz Tugendhat, who commissioned the villa in 1928, are seeking the return of the villa, and city officials said earlier this month that they would transfer the villa to the state with a recommendation that it be restituted. But the recommendation was based on a plan by the three heirs to restore the villa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and keep it open to the public. Sotheby’s sale of the statute, returned to the family by a Brno museum in keeping with laws on Nazi-looted art, has elicited negative reaction from Brno officials. One of the heirs, Daniela Tugendhat, said her family had never promised not to sell the statue and was committed to restoring the villa for visitors.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.