Vienna Philharmonic to return painting stolen by Nazis

Posted on: April 14, 2014

An unsigned Agence France-Presse story on Saturday (4/12) reports that the Vienna Philharmonic is “returning a painting that was stolen by the Nazis to the descendants of its rightful owners, in the latest high-profile restitution case in Austria. The Philharmonic … sent a letter to the descendants of the painting’s former French owner Marcel Koch on Thursday to inform them of the move…. The 1883 painting ‘Port-en-Bessin’ by French artist Paul Signac, known for his pointillistic style, was confiscated in 1940 in France’s Jura region and given to the Philharmonic after it performed in the region…. After over two decades of research, an art historian commissioned by the orchestra, Sophie Lillie, finally managed to identify the painting’s origins. ‘We’re very happy that thanks to Sophie Lillie’s efforts a breakthrough was finally achieved and we found the descendants,’ Philharmonic musician and president Clemens Hellsberg said in the statement. ‘We’ve tried for years to deal with the Vienna Philharmonic’s past and we want to face our responsibility in making up for past injustice.’ … The Philharmonic meanwhile said it would continue to search its archive for further stolen artifacts.”

Posted April 14, 2014