On November 22, the Prime Minister decided the restitution of Eglise de Pont-Saint-Martin (Loire Atlantique), a painting by Maurice Utrillo taken from Stefan Osusky, former Ambassador of Czechoslovakia in Paris from 1921 to 1940. This decision is based on the CIVS recommendation dated 9 July 2021.
In March 1939, Stefan Osusky transferred his paintings to a safe house belonging to a person of Jewish faith in Paris. Eglise de Pont-Saint-Martin (Loire Atlantique) was among them. On 29 August 1940, the Geheime Feldpolizei seized the painting and transported it to the German Embassy’s warehouse in Paris, and then to the Reich Foreign Office in Berlin. Because of the possibility of bombing, the work was sent to Austria, to Tentschach Castle, near Klagenfurt, where it was found in 1951. The painting was repatriated to France and became an MNR work. Its provenance has been established thanks to a new research in 2016. The CIVS panel, examining this case on July 9, considered that the victim, although not Jewish, was spoliated because of the anti-Semitic legislation. In fact, this artwork was taken during an operation targeting the Jewish person to whom Stefan Osusky had entrusted it.