The Louvre will be exhibiting 31 French-owned paintings that were taken by the Nazis during World War II in an effort to reconnect the artworks with their rightful owners. The paintings are by various artists across time periods and will join the 296 recovered paintings already acquired by the Louvre.
Each painting has been recorded and tracked in the National Recovery Museum’s catalogue and the French authorities have also designed an online MNR catalogue to help owners find their artworks without travelling to Paris. The recovery process of Nazi-looted artworks has been a long and difficult task for the French government. The French commission for artistic recovery salvaged 60,000 items between 1944 and 1949 alone.
The head of the paintings department at the Louvre, Sebastien Allard told the Associated Press: “These paintings don’t belong to us. Museums often looked like predators in the past, but our goal is to return them. The large majority of the retrieved artworks have been plundered from Jewish families during World War II. Beneficiaries can see these artworks, declare that these artworks belong to them, and officially ask for their return.” The 31 paintings will hang permanently alongside the 1700 artworks already on display at the world-renowned gallery.
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