France returns Matisse painting stolen by Nazis

200811280714.jpgPARIS (Reuters) – France returned to its rightful owners on Thursday a painting by French master Henri Matisse which was seized by the Nazis in 1941 after its Jewish owner fled anti-Semitic persecutions in Germany. The 1898 painting, “The Pink Wall,” was one of thousands of paintings stolen from Jewish families during the Second World War that ended up in the custody of French authorities.[From France returns Matisse painting stolen by Nazis | Lifestyle | ReutersLong-time visitors to the Pompidou will probably recognize this painting, “The Pink Wall” by Henri Matisse. It has been held for sixty years by French museum authorities during a long search for it’s rightful owners.

In a story right out of the 2007 film, “The Rape of Europa,” the heirs and the painting were only paired after a German art historian made the connection using an internet database set up for this purpose.

Anyone interested in the great art of Europe must see “The Rape of Europa” The film tells the story of the Nazi theft of thousands and thousands of artworks from private and museum collection before and during World War II, and details a lot of the destruction of priceless treasures due to the war. Many artworks were saved, however due to heroic actions by many, as well military officials who were put in charge of saving vast treasures even as the war raged on.

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