The director of the Uffizi Gallery, the great museum of Florence, asked Germany this Tuesday for the return of a painting of an eighteenth-century Dutch painter stolen by the Nazis during the Second World War.
"A call to Germany for 2019: we hope that this year it will finally be possible to bring the famous" flower vase "of the Dutch painter Jan van Huysum, stolen by the Nazi soldiers, back to the Galleria degli Uffizi ", writes a statement by Eike Schmidt, the director of the museum, himself a German citizen.
He states that the painting "is currently in the hands of a German family that has not returned to the museum after all this time, despite many requests from the Italian state".
A work found in 1991
It is an oil on canvas measuring 47×35 centimeters, signed Jan van Huysum (1682-1749), a famous painter of still lifes, and since 1824 belonging to the collections of Palazzo Pitti, the other large Florentine museum.
It was taken by the Germans during the war and later transferred to Germany, where the track was long lost, before it was finally found in 1991, after German reunification, explains Eike Schmidt.
"Because of this affair that damages the legacy of the Uffizi, the wounds of the Second World War and Nazi terror are not healed," he adds.
Back to the owner "legitimate"
The art historian also believes that "Germany should abolish the recipe for works stolen during the conflict and ensure that they can return to their rightful owners".
In anticipation of the return of the original in Florence, a black-and-white reproduction of Van Huysums & Vais van bloemen & # 39; to see at the Palazzo Pitti. It is marked with "stolen" (in Italian, English and German) and a short explanatory legend that reminds visitors that "the work was stolen in 1944 by soldiers of the Nazi army and now in a private German collection".