A museum has agreed to return a 19th century painting looted by Nazi Germany to their heirs of its Jewish owner, according to BBC News.
The painting, an oil landscape by French painter Gustave Courbet, is currently in the University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum. It was stolen from its Jewish owner Robert Bing by the Nazis in 1941 in occupied France, a UK government panel”s investigation concluded.
The Spoliation Advisory Panel, a committee composed of judges and art historians investigating claims related to the looting of art by the Nazis, had urged the museum to return the painting to Bing”s descendants.
The museum confirmed to the BBC that it plans to follow the panel”s recommendation and return the valuable work of art, “La Ronde Enfantine” from 1862, to the family.
The painting was stolen from Bing”s Paris apartment in 1941 by the Reichsleiter Rosenberg Taskforce (ERR), the Nazi organization that looted cultural artifacts in occupied countries.
“This is a deliberate seizure by the German authorities from a Jewish citizen of France with the diversion of the work of art to Nazi leaders,” the panel”s report noted. “No other reason for seizure other than the Jewishness of Mr. Bing has appeared to explain this seizure.”
The panel added that the findings were not meant as a criticism of the museum.
“The museum has cared for the work so that it can now be restored to the heirs of the original owners,” the report said.