The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, May 25, 2019


Nazi loot returned to Poland
A ceremony was held by the Polish Ministry today to mark the return of ‘Rough sea with ships’ by Simon de Vlieger.


LONDON.- A ceremony was held at the National Museum of Warsaw today to mark the return of ‘Rough sea with ships’ by Simon de Vlieger. The work was stolen during the Warsaw Uprising by the head of propaganda during the Nazi occupation of Poland Wilhelm Ohlenbusch, and taken to Oldenburg near Hamburg. The work was located by the Art Loss Register last year, and has now been returned to Poland.

After the war, De Vlieger's picture was considered a war loss and was recorded by the Polish Ministry of Culture in their database of war losses, as well as in the Interpol database and the Art Loss Register database. The fate of the work remained unknown until May 2016, when the Art Loss Register sent a request for information to the Ministry of Culture for a lot that was offered for sale at a German auction house. Based on the documentation provided by the Ministry, the Art Loss Register requested for the object to be withdrawn from the auction. The Ministry of Culture inspected the work and confirmed its identity by comparing it to pre-war photographs and carrying out a conservator’s assessment of the canvas.

After half a year negotiations assisted by the Art Loss Register and concluded by the Germany lawyer Prof. Peter Raue, the Ministry of Culture came to an amicable settlement with the current owner and secured the return of the work to Poland.





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