Swiss museum pulls down paintings by Monet, van Gogh as origin of Nazi-looted art probed

GENEVA — A Swiss museum pulls down five paintings, including a van Gogh and a Monet, after the foundation that owns them called for a deeper look at their origins following new US guidelines on how to handle artworks once confiscated by the Nazis.

The Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection, which owns the works formerly shown at the Kunsthaus Zürich museum, says it’s looking to reach a “fair and equitable solution” with the legal successors of the former owners, who are not identified.

The foundation’s board calls for a new assessment of the works under new “best practices” published by the US State Department in March on how to deal with Nazi-confiscated art, as an upgrade to principles adopted in 1998.

The works include the oil paintings “Jardin de Monet à Giverny” by Claude Monet from 1895, and “Der alte Turm” by Vincent van Gogh, of 1884.

A sixth painting, Edouard Manet’s “La Sultane,” is also considered “a case deserving particular attention,” the foundation said in a statement last Friday.

It said it was ready to make a financial contribution to the estate of Max Silberberg, a German Jew and art collector who died with his wife at the Nazi death camp in Auschwitz, in connection with the Manet out of respect to his “tragic destiny.”

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