Amongst the seven paintings being returned are four works that currently hang in the Louvre
in Paris. Six of the paintings were owned by Richard Neumann, an Austrian Jew who sold off his collection at a fraction of its value in order to leave France. The seventh piece was stolen in Prague by the Nazi Party from Josef Wiener, a Jewish banker. Each of the paintings dates from the 17th and 18th centuries.
What binds the seven pictures together is that they were marked to go on display in an art gallery that Adolf Hitler planned to open in the Austrian city of Linz at the conclusion of World War II.
The paintings, according to CBC News
The Allegory of Venice by Italian painter Gaspare Diziani.
Saint Francis by Italian painter Francesco Fontebasso.
Portrait of Bartolomeo Ferracina by Italian painter Alessandro Longhi.
Abraham and the Three Angels by Italian painter Sebastiano Ricci.
The Miracle of Saint Eloi by Italian painter Gaetano Gandolfi.
The Apotheosis of John of Nepomuk by German painter François-Charles Palko.
The Stop (or The Halt) by Dutch artist Pieter Jansz van Asch
Bruno Saunier of the National Museums Agency in France is quoted by the Guardian
as saying: "This is incredibly rare. It's the largest number of paintings we've been able to give back to Jewish families in over a decade."
The return of the paintings, the BBC reports
, is part of a French government led effort to give back looted, stolen or appropriated art.