Art Law Report

Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin Returns Schmidt-Rotluff Paintings to Graetz Heirs

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 23, 2011 at 4:54 AM

The regional government of Berlin has decided to return two paintings by German Expressionist Karl Schmidt-Rotluff to the heirs of the paintings’ one-time owner (article in German).

As reported by Catherine Hickley of Bloomberg in Berlin, the paintings, a 1920 self-portrait and a 1910 landscape entitled “Farm in Dangast” once belonged to Robert Graetz, a businessman from Berlin who was deported to Poland in 1942. After a claim by Graetz’s grandson Roberto (Graetz), a government panel headed by Jutta Limbach (a former constitutional judge) concluded that the loss was almost certainly the product of persecution and should be returned. Berlin Culture Secretary Andre Schmitz has now said that the government will follow the panel’s recommendation.

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Topics: Berlin, Roberto Graetz, Catherine Hickley, Karl Schmidt-Rotluff, Robert Graetz, Neue Nationalgalerie, Restitution, Farm in Dangast, Linz, Lane Faison, World War II, degenerate art, German Expressionism, Jutta Limbach, Washington Principles, Berlin Culture Secretary, Andre Schmitz

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