Louvre and Sotheby’s together to return stolen works of art
The two institutions will work side by side to clarify the provenance of the museum’s acquisitions
The Louvre Museum, one of the institutions with the most important art collection in the world, will be joined by the specialist team of the Sotheby’s auction house to investigate the provenance of the works acquired between 1933 and 1945.
A research that “could lead to returns, as well as to improve digitization processes and encourage the organization of seminars, study days and publications”, explains the Louvre in a press release.
The collaboration between the two will last 3 years and is part of a study plan on their collection which includes over 300,000 pieces of Egyptian, Greek and Roman archeology as well as nearly 12,000 paintings.
The effort is added to the program of analysis and restitution of works stolen by the Nazis and merged into the museum collection, which last year allowed the discovery of 1,700 works recovered in Germany after the Second World War and never returned to the descendants of the legitimate owners.
The relationship between the two great protagonists of the art world is not accidental, because as the official statement reads: «This patronage echoes the commitment of Sotheby’s for the return of works that changed hands between 1933 and 1945. It is was the first international auction house to have a department dedicated to the search and restitution of provenance ».
A collaboration that will make it possible to clarify a very controversial historical period, and which could lead to the return of great masterpieces long gone from their legitimate owners.
Photo Credits: Courtesy Hugo Delaunay