Photo: Associated Press
The director of the Uffizi gallery of Florence, Eike Schmidt, holding a black and white photo of the still life “Vase of flowers”, the Dutch artist Jan van Huysum (1682-1749).
The director of the Uffizi gallery of Florence press Germany to restore a masterpiece of the Dutch in the 18th century, stolen by the nazi troops during the Second world War.
The famous museum in florence illustrates the cruel absence of this table by hanging a black and white photo of the work, surrounded by a label where we can read ” Fly ” in red letters and in three languages, including of course German.
Eike Schmidt said on Tuesday, in a ” New Year appeal “, that the still life Vase of flowers, by the Dutch artist Jan van Huysum (1682-1749), was in the hands of a German family who had still not returned despite numerous requests. Instead, the intermediate of the family demanded money for his return in Italy.
“The table is already the inalienable property of the Italian State and therefore cannot be “redeemed,” ” said director Schmidt.
The oil on canvas was exhibited from 1824 in the collection of the Pitti palace, at Florence, until the beginning of the Second world War. It has been moved for security reasons during the war, but was stolen at the time of the withdrawal of the German troops. It has not resurfaced until the reunification of Germany in 1991, when the offers of “resale” in Italy began.
“This history prevents the wounds inflicted by the Second world War and the horrors of nazism to heal,” said Mr. Schmidt, himself a German. “Germany should not apply the period of limitation for stolen art works during the war and should take steps to ensure that these works are returned to their rightful owners. “
He has called the “moral duty” of Germany to restore the work. “I am convinced that the German government will do so at the first opportunity, obviously, with all the other art works seized by the German Wehrmacht nazi. “