Painting Plundered by Nazis Is Being Returned to Family After Hanging in a Belgian Museum for 71 Years


One painting that the Nazis stole is finally returned to its rightful owners after being hung in a museum for 71 years.

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Belgium transferred “Flowers” by Lovis Corinth to the estate of Gustav and Emma Mayer, who fled their homes in Germany on the eve of World War II. 

The family’s attorney, Imke Gielen, says the Mayers left behind 30 paintings when they fled for Brussels, all of which were plundered by the Nazis. 

When the war was over, Belgian authorities had difficulty establishing where many works of art were stolen from, and like this one, hung them in a museum. 

“In the 1950s, nobody was able to make the connection to the Mayer family because it does not say on the back ‘Gustav and Emma Mayer,'” Gielen noted. “And then after the war, there were efforts, but the artworks were not identified, and everything stopped for a number of decades.”

The museum has been appealing to the public to help them reunite paintings with other families who had their belongings stolen during the war in hopes of correcting some of the injustices of the past. 

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