The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Friday, October 24, 2014


Lawsuit Says Over $100 Million Art Collection is Largest Holocaust Art Claim
Gustave Courbet, Le Château de Blonay (neige), (The Chateau of Blonay (snow).
WASHINGTON, DC.- Heirs to the Herzog Collection, the largest private art collection in Hungary prior to World War II, filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia late yesterday to seek the return of artworks illegally held by Hungary since the Holocaust. The heirs are also demanding a full and transparent inventory of looted art from the Herzog Collection held by Hungary, marking the first time a request of this nature has ever been made in an art restitution lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks the return of over 40 artworks with a combined value of over $100 million, including masterworks by El Greco, Francisco de Zurbarán, and Lucas Cranach the Elder. The works come from the collection of Baron Mór Lipót Herzog, a passionate Jewish art collector, and the case is regarded by experts as the world’s largest unresolved Holocaust art claim. Hungary, a WWII-era ally of Nazi Germany that organized the dispossession, seizure, deportation, and eventual deaths of more than 500,000 Hungarian Jews, has held the artworks since the genocide of its Jewish population, despite years of negotiations and international appeals for the collection’s return from multiple U.S. Senators.

Major Works in Herzog Collection
Before his death in 1934, Baron Mór Lipót Herzog amassed approximately 2,500 paintings, sculptures, and other artworks in what was one of the finest collections of art in all of Europe. Among the artworks at issue in this case are:

· The Agony in the Garden, an oil-on-canvas masterwork that was one of six El Greco paintings in the former Herzog Collection;

· The Portrait of Don Balthasar Carlos, by Alonso Cano, the Spanish painter and sculptor known as “the Michelangelo of Spain”;

· The Spring, by Gustave Courbet, the innovative French painter who lead the Realist movement in 19th-Century France; and

· Portrait of a Woman (Lady with a Marguerite (Daisy)), by Camille Corot, the 19th-Century French landscape painter of whom the impressionist master Claude Monet said, “We are nothing compared to him, nothing.”

Case Summary
The complaint filed yesterday sets out the remarkable and disturbing facts of the case, including:

· At its peak, the Herzog Collection included approximately 2,500 works of art, including paintings by El Greco, Velázquez, Renoir, Corot, and Monet.

· After the widow of Baron Mór Lipót Herzog died in 1940, the collection was passed to her three children: Erzsébet, István, and András.

· Hungary sent András to a forced labor camp in 1942; he died on the Russian front in 1943. His daughters, who fled Hungary after their father’s deportation and death, are plaintiffs in this suit.

· Hungary attempted to send István to the infamous Auschwitz camp, though he escaped to a safe house. The heirs of István and Erzsébet have assigned their interest in the Herzog Collection to David de Csepel, the lead plaintiff.

· The Hungarian government worked hand-in-hand with the infamous Nazi SS commander Adolf Eichmann in organizing large-scale deportations of Hungarian Jews to German death camps. Between mid-May and July 1944, Hungarian authorities deported over 430,000 Jews, comprising more than 50% of the Hungarian Jewish population.

· In May 1944, the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior issued a decree requiring Jews to register all art objects in their possession.

· The Herzog family attempted to save their artworks from damage and confiscation by hiding the bulk of it in the cellar of one of the family’s factories at Budafok. Dénes Csánky, director of the Museum of Fine Arts, assisted in packing and hiding the artworks. Despite their efforts to prevent the looting of the art, the Hungarian government and their Nazi collaborators discovered the hiding place (Csánky inventoried the treasures as they emerged). The seized artworks were taken to Adolf Eichmann, who selected many of the best pieces of the collection, first displaying his “trophies” and then shipping them to Germany. The remainder was handed over by the Hungarian government to the Museum of Fine Arts for safekeeping.

· Under the 1947 Treaty of Peace between Hungary and the Allies, ownership rights to the Herzog Collection remained with the Herzog heirs.

· The artworks that are the subject of this lawsuit are among the main attractions at Hungary’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Galley. One guidebook to the Museum of Fine Arts includes four art works from the collection, including El Greco’s The Agony in the Garden, while another guidebook includes two artworks from the collection.

· The museums display works from the Herzog Collection prominently and have included tags identifying them as being “from the Herzog Collection.”

· The museums have promoted and distributed books, including Treasures of Venice: Paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, that include works from the Herzog Collection.

· The Budapest University of Technology and Economics and the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest also possess artworks from the Herzog Collection.

· At the 1998 Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets, an international conference on the persistent issues surrounding Nazi-looted art, the Hungarian government pledged that it was “fully committed to the restitution or compensation of Holocaust victims concerning cultural assets. For managing this complex task . . . a state commissioner will be designated.” Twelve years later, no commissioner has been appointed.


The Herzog Collection | The Holocaust | El Greco | Francisco de Zurbarán |




Today's News

July 29, 2010

Egon Schiele's Portrait of Wally Now on Display - Only Opportunity to See it in the U.S.

Jackson and Lee, August 1953: Photographs by Tony Vaccaro

Italian Officials are Seeking Private Sponsors to Restore Colosseum

Lady Lever Art Gallery Announces Old Master Drawings Exhibition

National Archives Reveals Newly Donated Franklin D. Roosevelt Papers

Rockwell Group to Design New Cafe at the Whitney Museum

Italian Capital of Rome Grapples with Endless Vandalism

Sam Francis Foundation Gifts Over 500 Prints to Milwaukee Art Museum

Archaeologists Discover 2,400-Year-Old Weapons and Tools in Valencia

Ship Lost for More than 150 Years is Recovered in Canada

Maximilien Luce Retrospective at Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny

MFA Houston Announces Acquisition of Over 160 Decorative Arts Objects

Portrait of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta Presented at the National Portrait Gallery

Exhibition Celebrates Chicago Collectors' 50 Extraordinary Gifts

Crystal Bridges to Loan Major Works by Parrish, Rockwell

Ohio's Butler Museum to Host Exhibition by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood

Original Paintings by Roger Tory Peterson Highlight Christie's American Paintings Sale

Rafael Vińoly to Design Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate

Rare 3D Film Shows Warsaw Devastated After WWII

Milwaukee Museum to Host Mummies Exhibition

Ikon.5 architects Selected for International Architecture Award by Chicago Athenaeum

Exhibition Showcases 22 Artists, from Jasper Johns to Tara Donovan

Salvador Dalí's Mustache Finds New Home on a Delta Plane in Celebration of New Exhibition

Alexander and Susan Maris' The Pursuit of Fidelity Opens Edinburgh Arts Festival at Stills

Lawsuit Says Over $100 Million Art Collection is Largest Holocaust Art Claim

Vermont Man Jailed in Vandalization of Cow Sculptures

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site