A Renoir painting looted by the Nazis during World War II has been returned to its rightful owner, New York federal officials announced Wednesday.
The painting, “Deux Femmes Dans Un Jardin,” painted in 1919 by Pierre Auguste Renoir, was stolen by Nazis from a bank vault in Paris in 1941, said a news release from the US Attorney’s Office and FBI.
It was stolen from Alfred Weinberger, a prominent art collector in prewar Paris, and Wednesday it was returned to his last remaining heir, his granddaughter Sylvie Sulitzer, at a ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.
“When Gen. [Hermann] Goering stole paintings from private collections from different museums around Europe, he needed an expert to verify them,” said Sulitzer after the painting was unveiled.
Instead of accepting the offer, Sulitzer’s grandfather joined the Marquis, “a rural guerrilla group of French Resistance fighters” to escape.
After the war, Sulitzer said Weinberger had a chance to declare different items of his that were stolen during the war, including jewelry and paintings.
According to the release, “The Renoir resurfaced after the war at an art sale in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1975. It subsequently found its way to London, where it was sold again in 1977, and then appeared at a sale in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1999.”
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SOURCE: CNN, Kwegyirba Croffie