Estonia returns painting to Germany

25th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

25 May 2004 , BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder met with Estonian Prime Minister Juhan Parts in the north German city of Bremen to witness the return of a painting lost for 60 years. Parts handed over a work by 16th century artist Albrecht Duerer which had been missing since World War II. Bremen's state art museum, which has an important collection of Duerer's works, acquired the painting of Saint John the Baptist and a matching picture of Saint Onuphrius in 1851. The picture of John vanished, apparent

25 May 2004

BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder met with Estonian Prime Minister Juhan Parts in the north German city of Bremen to witness the return of a painting lost for 60 years.

Parts handed over a work by 16th century artist Albrecht Duerer which had been missing since World War II.

Bremen's state art museum, which has an important collection of Duerer's works, acquired the painting of Saint John the Baptist and a matching picture of Saint Onuphrius in 1851.

The picture of John vanished, apparently stolen by a Soviet soldier at the end of the World War II.

"This is a grand gesture," Schroeder said of Estonia's decision to send the painting back. "It shows the power of art to bond people."

Parts said, "I hope that other works of art remaining abroad will return home like Duerer's Saint John."

Russia has passed legislation blocking the return of art officially confiscated by the Soviet authorities as a form of reparation from the Germans after the World War II.

"It's a very happy moment to see the two pictures reunited after 60 years," said museum director Wulf Herzogenrath.

Dutch art sleuths discovered the John the Baptist picture in a storeroom of the Kadriorg Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia, where it had been kept for a decade after being confiscated from a smuggler.

A spokeswoman for the Bremen Art Museum expressed thanks to the Estonian museum for its "spontaneous" co-operation and to authorities for returning it. By way of thanks, the German museum lent the Kadriorg a large Duerer collection for a temporary exhibition.

While both 59 by 22 centimetre side panels are side by side again, the Duerer triptych is still incomplete. The middle section is believed to be a painting belonging to New York's Metropolitan Museum.

DPA

Subject: German news 

0 Comments To This Article