The Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets announces that hundreds of Nazi looted artworks sent to Israel shortly after the Holocaust are now in Israeli museums • Museum representatives to help return art to rightful owners.
The Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets announced Wednesday that hundreds of artworks in Israeli museums were looted by the Nazis from Jewish Holocaust victims. Museum representatives were set to meet on Thursday to discuss the issue.
According to the company's CEO, Dr. Israel Peleg, this will be "the first time that the company holds a historic discussion with the participation of museum representatives, who are joining in the effort to locate artworks looted by the Nazis with the goal of discovering and returning them to their rightful owners."
Unlike museums in other parts of the world, Israeli museums have not worked toward locating and returning Nazi looted art until now -- contravening conventions that the state is party to.
"In the years leading up to World War II, thousands of modern and Jewish artworks were confiscated and labeled as 'degenerate art,'" said Peleg. In an effort to save as many pieces of art as possible, hundreds of Nazi looted artworks originally owned by Jews all over Europe were sent to Israel in the period following the Second World War with the help of the allied forces. This included paintings, sculptures, books and Judaica sent by European museums as well as in donations from organizations and private individuals.
The Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets explained that it is likely that some of these artworks may now be in the Israel Museum; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Museum of Art, Ein Harod; and the Ghetto Fighters' House museum.