Jewish Museum in Berlin traces how Nazis looted art

19th September 2008, Comments 0 comments

Exhibition organizers say that many of the confiscated paintings and other treasures had still not been recovered by the lawful heirs of the original owners.

Berlin -- Nazi seizures of Jewish-owned art from 1933 onwards are described in detail at a special exhibition to open Friday in the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

Organizers said Thursday that many of the confiscated paintings and other treasures had still not been recovered by the lawful heirs of the original owners.

The exhibition, which runs till Jan. 25, comprises 15 artworks along with documents describing their seizure or forced sale, later changes of ownership down the years and ultimate restitution.

Before the Second World War, Nazi Germany made it illegal for Jews to own art treasures, forcing them to sell. Later, during the Holocaust, Jewish property throughout eastern Europe was seized by Nazi officials.

Michael Blumenthal, director of the museum, charged that German art collectors, dealers and museums had all profited by being able to purchase art at reduced prices.

He praised modern Germany's efforts to give back the art but said he was disappointed there was no absolute right in law for heirs to reclaim the artworks.

DPA/Expatica

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