Gurlitt Matisse: Unconditional Restitution Announced By Paul Rosenberg Heirs

The heirs of Paul Rosenberg have confirmed the unconditional restitution of Henri Matisse’s ‘Femme Assise’, discovered in the Munich home of Cornelius Gurlitt in 2012. Christopher A. Marinello, an attorney representing the Rosenberg family, said:“We are delighted that ‘Femme Assise’ has now been returned and that we may count another step forward in recovering the works looted from Paul Rosenberg.

This restitution would not have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of our researchers in France and the United States and the diligence with which they helped build the family’s claim. Their work provided the firm foundation that enabled us to pursue the return of this work in earnest. 

The Rosenberg family would like to express their gratitude to German officials, members of the provenance Task Force and the Gurlitt family for their cooperation and for their recognition of this historic claim.  It is hoped that the Culture Ministry will act with expediency and transparency in reviewing and resolving other claims to the Gurlitt pictures.  Other victims can be encouraged that unconditional restitution of artwork lost as a result of Nazi persecution is still possible and, above all, that time is no barrier to justice.

There is a great deal to be learned from this case which should serve as a signal to the global art market that there is much more to do to ensure the integrity of collections, to uphold the aims of the Washington Principles and to resolve historic claims in an expeditious and professional manner.”

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