The Supervisor of Museums in Germany said in response to the gesture: “We will continue to work with all our might to come to terms with what has been done in looting works of art from Jews and we will work to return works to their rightful owners and remind everyone of the injustice.”
The Berlin Museum decided to return a work of art to the descendants of Armand Dorville, a Jewish lawyer who was forced by the Nazis to sell an ancient and expensive painting. After the painting was returned, the museum bought it back from family members.
The painting, looted by the Nazis, went a long way until it was bought by the German Museum from a London gallery and became a regular part of his exhibition. The museum has not revealed how much it paid for the painting, but estimates speak of the full price of the work being paid.
Herman Presinger, head of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which oversees the country’s museums, thanked the Dorville family and said they were noble when they sold it instead of keeping the painting to themselves so it could remain in the public domain. “I am grateful to Armand Dorville’s heirs for allowing us to repurchase the work. We will continue to work with all our might to come to terms with our past stains, return works to their rightful owners and remind everyone of the injustice done in looting works of art from Jews,” Presinger said.
Armand Dorville was a lawyer and public figure born in Paris who escaped from the Nazi occupation in 1959 and managed to smuggle with him part of his large art collection. The 450 paintings in the collection included the best works of French painters. He died in 1959 and the Nazis forced his successors The collection for the Germans.