STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Italy's Uffizi Gallery wants Nazi-looted artwork back from Germany

One of Italy's top art galleries has appealed to the German government for help in returning an artwork stol...

Posted: Jan 2, 2019 3:26 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2019 3:26 PM

One of Italy's top art galleries has appealed to the German government for help in returning an artwork stolen by Nazi troops in 1943.

The chief of the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, Eike Schmidt, released a video calling for the return of the painting, "Vase of Flowers," by 18th-century Dutch artist Jan van Huysum.

Art festivals and exhibitions

Art theft

Arts and entertainment

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal offenses

Europe

Germany

Larceny and theft

Paintings

Property crimes

Visual arts

Western Europe

Destinations and attractions

Museums and galleries

Points of interest

Italy

Southern Europe

Until the original is returned, a black and white photo of the artwork with the word "stolen" in Italian, German and English on it will hang in the Uffizi's Pitti Palace, Schmidt said.

"An appeal to Germany for 2019: We hope that this year may finally see the return to the Uffizi Galleries in Florence of the celebrated work of art entitled Vase of Flowers," Schmidt said in a statement released with the video.

The painting is held by a German family that has refused to return it despite requests from Italian authorities, the statement adds. The work only resurfaced in 1991, after the reunification of Germany.

German authorities maintain they are powerless to act in the case because of a statute of limitations that holds that crimes allegedly committed more than 30 years ago cannot be prosecuted, according to Reuters.

"Germany should not apply the statute of limitations to works of art stolen during the war, and it should take measures to ensure that those works are restored to their legitimate owners," Schmidt said.

"This story is preventing the wounds inflicted by World War II and the horrors of Nazism from healing," said Schmidt, an art historian who is German.

Van Huysum is renowned for his still-life paintings, and "Vase of Flowers" is worth millions of dollars, a Uffizi spokesman said.

The family that legally owns the painting under German law is asking for €500,000 ($573,000), below market rate, the spokesman said.

However, Italian law dictates that the Uffizi cannot buy the painting because the gallery is still its legal owner, he said.

Other artworks looted by the Nazis have been returned to galleries and to the heirs of their original owners in various countries around the world.

A Renoir painting stolen by the Nazis was returned in September to its rightful owner in the United States.

"Deux Femmes Dans Un Jardin," painted in 1919, was stolen by the Nazis in 1941 from a bank vault in Paris, federal prosecutors and the FBI in New York said in a news release.

It was stolen from Alfred Weinberger, a prominent art collector in prewar Paris, and it was returned to his last remaining heir, his granddaughter Sylvie Sulitzer, at a ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.

While there have been other success stories, many more looted works of art have not yet been returned.

In 2012, a collection of 1,400 works of art was discovered in the home of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, a collector who dealt in artworks for the Nazis.

Experts believe many of the discovered paintings, drawings and sculptures -- including works by Monet, Picasso and Rodin -- were looted by the Nazis from Jewish collectors or dealers.

The Louvre Museum in Paris has dedicated a permanent exhibit to looted works of art recovered from Germany. The Nazis had seized the pieces during their occupation of France.

The museum is displaying the 31 artworks in an attempt to reunite them with the descendants of their rightful owners.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 76522

Reported Deaths: 3086
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16194731
Lake7742281
Elkhart495586
Allen4040163
St. Joseph361083
Hamilton2887104
Vanderburgh205313
Hendricks1943108
Cass18069
Johnson1794119
Porter136239
Clark130750
Tippecanoe124511
Madison103066
LaPorte93530
Howard92065
Kosciusko87212
Floyd82249
Bartholomew82147
Marshall79423
Monroe76732
Delaware76052
Vigo71411
Dubois71312
Boone69746
Noble69029
Hancock68839
Jackson5975
Warrick58830
Shelby56828
LaGrange56610
Grant53130
Dearborn51628
Morgan48934
Clinton4504
Henry41820
Wayne38810
White37711
Montgomery36021
Lawrence35727
Harrison35224
Decatur34232
Putnam3218
Daviess27920
Miami2772
Scott27310
Jasper2572
Greene25434
Franklin24715
DeKalb2384
Gibson2334
Jennings22812
Steuben2153
Ripley2138
Carroll2003
Fayette1957
Perry18713
Posey1800
Starke1807
Orange17824
Wells1782
Fulton1732
Wabash1715
Jefferson1662
Knox1640
Whitley1566
Tipton14912
Washington1441
Sullivan1411
Spencer1393
Clay1315
Huntington1273
Randolph1274
Newton12110
Adams1172
Owen1051
Jay920
Rush894
Pulaski821
Fountain762
Brown752
Blackford662
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike620
Vermillion590
Parke551
Switzerland530
Martin500
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0208

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 104248

Reported Deaths: 3734
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18965531
Cuyahoga13869512
Hamilton9844259
Lucas5512326
Montgomery448998
Summit3667224
Butler303364
Marion294245
Mahoning2623256
Pickaway240042
Stark1904142
Warren185039
Lorain183177
Columbiana168360
Trumbull1563110
Fairfield143232
Delaware136519
Licking134551
Clark121315
Lake114642
Wood109058
Clermont96211
Medina95936
Miami86839
Tuscarawas79714
Allen79446
Portage77664
Greene73012
Mercer64113
Belmont62726
Richland61912
Erie61028
Ashtabula57746
Geauga56144
Wayne55459
Ross5094
Madison50310
Darke41429
Huron4115
Ottawa40426
Sandusky39917
Hancock3973
Athens3612
Holmes3316
Lawrence3180
Auglaize2756
Union2731
Scioto2591
Muskingum2481
Jefferson2403
Seneca2344
Shelby2154
Knox2147
Preble2122
Putnam21217
Washington21122
Coshocton1967
Champaign1882
Morrow1792
Crawford1775
Hardin17512
Clinton1716
Highland1692
Logan1672
Ashland1553
Fulton1551
Defiance1544
Wyandot1519
Brown1502
Perry1483
Williams1373
Fayette1240
Henry1222
Hocking1229
Guernsey1197
Carroll1135
Monroe9418
Pike800
Jackson770
Gallia741
Van Wert732
Paulding700
Adams642
Meigs580
Vinton322
Morgan300
Harrison261
Noble170
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 75°
Angola
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 70°
Huntington
Few Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 69°
Decatur
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 73°
Van Wert
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 73°
Storm Chances Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events