ROME — The director of the Uffizi Gallery, the great museum of Florence, called on Tuesday to Germany for the restitution of a painting by the Dutch painter of the Eighteenth century Jan van Huysum, stolen by the nazis during the Second world War.
“A call to Germany to 2019 : we hope that this year can finally be returned to the Uffizi Gallery, the famous Vase of flowers by the Dutch painter Jan van Huysum stolen by the nazi soldiers,” wrote in a press release Eike Schmidt, the museum’s director, himself of German nationality.
It specifies that the table is “currently owned by a German family who, after all this time, has not yet visited the museum, despite numerous requests of the Italian State”.
It is an oil on canvas 47×35 cm, signed Jan van Huysum (1682-1749), a painter renowned specialist in still lifes, and owned since 1824 the collections of the Pitti Palace, the other great museum in florence.
Seized by the Germans during the war, she was transferred to Germany, where his trail was long lost before being rediscovered in 1991 after the German reunification, ” says Eike Schmidt.
“Because of this case, which infringes on the heritage of the Uffizi Gallery, the wounds of the Second world War and the nazi terror are not healed”, he adds.
The art historian believes, moreover, that “Germany should abolish the prescription for works stolen during the conflict and ensure that they can return to their legitimate owners.”
In the expectation of a return of the original in Florence, a black and white reproduction of Vase of flowers by van Huysum is exhibited from Tuesday at the Pitti Palace.
It is marked as “stolen” (in Italian, English and German) as well as a short explanation note which reminds visitors that “the work was stolen by the soldiers of the nazi army in 1944, and is now in a private collection in German”.