Belgium demands return of Rubens nabbed by French Revolution

9th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Belgium on Wednesday demanded the return of an oil painting by Flemish master Pierre Paul Rubens nabbed more than 200 years ago during the French Revolution and currently in the hands of a French museum.

French-speaking parliamentarians adopted a resolution urging their government "to undertake all useful steps to negotiate with France the restitution to the Tournai cathedral of Rubens' work 'The Triumph of Judas Maccabeus'".

The oil on canvas was created in 1635 for the bishop of Tournai, a town in western Belgium, and paid for with funds raised by local residents.

Along with another Rubens work it was seized and sent to France in 1794 by French troops occupying what is now Belgium.

Napoleon Bonaparte sent it to the western city of Nantes in 1801 and it is still held by the municipal museum there.

© 2011 AFP

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