Jan Brueghel the Elder Painting Returned to Kaufmann Heirs in Germany (July 10, 2012)

In Munich, a Nazi-looted work of art has been returned to its rightful owners. Two small sticker on the back of the painting prove it is a 17th Century replica of the painting "Flowers in a vase" from the studio of Dutch artist Jan Brueghel the Elder. It belonged to the Jewish merchant Julius Kien. The Nazis had seized it during World War II. The Bavarian state painting collections now 70 years later will give the paintings back to the Kaufmann heirs.

Arts Minister Wolfgang Heubisch (FDP), praised the return, according to statement. "It is our great concern to return wrongfully acquired works of art during the Nazi era to their rightful owners." Since 1998, German museums have been encouraged to search their collections for looted art from the Nazi era. In advance of the planned Bruegel exhibition at the Alte Pinakothek, the image was further investigated. It has been owned by the state art collections since 1992. The provenance of the collections research found that the work originated in the Baroque era that belonged to the Viennese businessman Kaufmann.

In recent years, there were repeated disputes over the rightful ownership of Nazi-looted art. The heirs of Jewish art collector Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy reclaim about Pablo Picasso's "Madame Soler", the art collector Sophie Lissitzky-Kueppers, the painting "Swamp Legend" by Paul Klee. The case of Bruegel's work, however, is clear: The six heirs owns the image. An Australian- Kien granddaughter took the work in the Neue Pinakothek in reception. The painting will now be sold, she said. "This is a shame, because it is a beautiful picture. But I would be afraid to hang it in my apartment of exposure to sunlight. "Then the painting from the 17th Century would not survive long.

Original German Article