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Old 12-31-2018, 05:09 PM
5,399 posts, read 1,532,686 times
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I find these stolen artwork stories so interesting.

The Nazi Downstairs: A search for a lost masterpiece uncovered a woman’s harrowing account of escaping deportation, and possibly death, while spying on a Nazi at close range
By Colin Moynihan

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Old Today, 09:16 PM
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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While much looted art was destroyed, there is much more that still exists and has yet to be found.

Since the really good art always tends to be kept in the family for very long periods of time, I'm sure the 21st century will be full of these stories until it ends. The owners of stolen art always hand down a tale of caution when the art passes down, but eventually, there always comes a time when someone decides enough time has passed to sell the art safely.

Very often, they're correct.

But the family tales of dead ancestors whose fine art was stolen are passed down even longer and stronger. This account shows that's the truth.

Dividing a sale is easy when there's no descendant who wants the painting over the money it can bring, especially when millions of dollars are involved, but when the desire for owning what was once in the family is strong enough, it can trigger an international crisis over the ownership.

But there are some artists whose importance is so solidly universal that the crisis may be well worth it to the winners.

The Gustav Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer- 'The Lady In Gold'- was worth about $10 million a year to the city of Vienna in tourist revenue, and the city fought the rightful owner tooth and nail to keep it there, even when everyone on both sides fully understood the painting had been stolen.
In cases like that, a court decision is always going to have an uncertain outcome. The niece of Mrs. Bloch-Bauer prevailed, but as time passes, other courts in later times could deliver much different verdicts 3or 4 more generations down the line.

I used the Klimt as an example. Schiele was Klimpt's younger student/contemporary/rival, who was just as controversial, famous, and sought-after as Klimt in pre-WWI Vienna.

By the end of that war, both artists were dead and gone. Klimt died in February 1918, before the war ended, and Shiele died from the Spanish flu several months afterward, in October.
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