Government of The Netherlands Returns Brueghel Work to Max Stern Estate
Montreal, November 17 (ots/PRNewswire) - Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, acting on behalf of the executors of the Estate of Dr. Max Stern and its three university beneficiaries (Concordia, McGill University/Montreal, Hebrew University/Jerusalem) announces the restitution of another Old Master painting belonging to the Jewish art dealer's collection. "Allegory of Earth and Water," by Jan Brueghel the Younger (1601-1678), was discovered to have been looted by the Nazis in the period surrounding World War Two.
The Brueghel was returned today during a ceremony held at The Hague at the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage. The painting will be placed on exhibition next month at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
In 2005, the Holocaust Claims Processing Office (HCPO) of the New York State Banking Department discovered that the Brueghel was listed in the database of The Netherlands government's Origins Unknown Agency - which investigates the ownership history of paintings held in the Dutch national collection. The HCPO submitted a claim to The Netherlands' Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, which referred it to the country's Restitutions Committee.
The Committee's fact-finding investigation revealed that after the painting had been removed from Dr. Stern's possession in the 1930s, it surfaced a short while later with Jan Dik Jr., a Dutch art dealer who acted as a middleman for the Nazis. From Dik, the painting went to the Hamburg Kunsthalle museum. The Allies recovered the Brueghel and transferred custody of the painting to The Netherlands. The painting was most recently on display at the Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch.
The Max Stern Art Restitution Project is spearheaded by Concordia through the office of Dr. Clarence Epstein, working in close collaboration with the HCPO, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and INTERPOL.
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