Four more works returned on December 22, 2021

Published on 26/01/2022 - Updated on 03/05/2024

On December 22, four more MNR works were returned on the recommendation of the CIVS : Paysage (a watercolor by Georges Michel), Portrait de femme (drawing by Paul Delaroche), another Portrait de femme (drawing by Auguste Hesse) and Marée basse à Grandcamp (watercolor by Jules-Jacques Veyrassat). These four works belonged to major Egyptian Jewish collector Moïse Lévi de Benzion, whose home, Château de Draveil, was looted in 1940. In this case, the main difficulty was knowing who to return these works to.

The restitution of December 22 is the result of significant research carried out within the graphic arts department of the Louvre and the ‘Service des Musées de France’ (Ministry of Culture), but also by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to understand how was distributed the succession between the children of the victim. The search for solution went all the way to Egypt, where a Cairo court addressed the issue in 1950, but the research failed to provide an answer. This case has been referred by the ‘Mission de recherche et de restitution des biens culturels spoliés’ (Ministry of Culture). The 2018 reform allows this new type of referral.

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