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article imageDutch museums identify Nazi-looted art

By Layne Weiss     Oct 30, 2013 in Entertainment
Amsterdam - Dutch museums have identified 139 pieces of art by artists such as Matisse, Klee, and Kandinsky, which may have been forcibly taken from their Jewish owners.
Paintings by many Dutch artists, including Isaac Israels, are also among the 139 pieces of art, BBC News reports.
Tuesday's announcement suggests that even more looted art may be found in other countries, The AP reports.
"These objects are either thought or known to have been looted, confiscated or sold under duress," said Siebe Weide, director of the Netherlands Museums Association. He said returning them is "both a moral obligation and one that we have taken upon ourselves."
This website has been set up to assist owners of the looted art with getting back what is theirs, BBC News reports.
This is the second review of its kind. The first took place a decade ago and surveyed art acquired between 1940 and 1948.
In 2009, the director of Dutch Museum Association announced that "new information" had emerged, which prompted them to investigate the matter further.
"We know that there were doubtful transactions concerning works acquired before 1940, after Kristallnacht," said Siebe Weide.
On Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass, over 91 Jews died when Nazi stormtroopers seized and torched Jewish businesses and synagogues. There was also widespread looting, and works out of art went missing.
The looting continued throughout World War II, and about 650,000 religious items and works of art are said to have been stolen from the Jewish people.
Most of the art has been returned, but a lot of it remains in various museums or private collections.
The first review resulted in several paintings being returned to their rightful places. In one case, the Dutch Government returned a total of 202 works to the daughter-in-law of Jacques Goudstikker, a Jewish art dealer whose collection had been pillaged during the war.
Rudi Ekkart, a professor of art history at the University of Utrecht who headed the investigating commission, said it's possible more looted artwork will be discovered in the Netherlands, The AP reports.
More about nazi looted, Art, Dutch museums, Matisse, isaac israels
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