New York, USA /
New York authorities announced Wednesday the return of seven works of art valued at more than $9 million that were stolen by the Nazi regime to the family of Fritz Grunbaum, an Austrian Jewish cabaret performer murdered in the Holocaust.
The drawings, all by the Austrian artist, Egon Schielewere voluntarily surrendered by the institutions and properties that owned them, including the famous Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from New York.
“After they were presented with evidence that they were robbed by the Nazis,” the district attorney’s office said. Manhattan it’s a statement.
The decision is a victory for Grunbaum’s heirs, who have been fighting for years for the return of the plays.
Who was Grunbaum?
Fritz Grünbaum was a well-known collector of Austrian modernist art, his works were represented in famous catalogs and exhibitions. Grunbaum died in the Dachau concentration camp, Germany, in 1941.
“I hope this moment serves as a reminder that, despite the horrible death and destruction caused by the Nazisit is never too late to recover some of what we lost and to honor the victims,” said District Attorney, Alvin Braggit’s a statement.
In 2018, a Manhattan court ruling in USA determined that Grünbaum had never sold or given any of his works before his death and that, therefore, his heirs are the rightful owners.
Timothy Reifjudge and relative of Grunbaum, thanked the authorities for having managed to solve crimes committed more than 80 years ago.
The seven drawings were confiscated by the Antiquities Traffic Unit from the district attorney’s office earlier this year, from MoMA, the Ronald Lauder Collection, the Morgan Library and the Vally Sabarsky trust in Manhattan, as well as the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in California.
The prosecutor’s office estimated its total value at more than $9 million.