Second World War

‘Slap in the face’: Poland passes law effectively blocking Holocaust-era art restitutions

Lawyers and collectors weigh in on new rule that sets a 30-year limit on claims to property that was stolen by Nazis and Communist leaders

When the US was accused of ‘plundering’ Berlin’s museums: new show reveals murky history

An exhibition opening at the Cincinnati Art Museum reveals how 14 major museums found themselves caught up in a “morally dubious” ­tour of Germany's art treasures after the Second World War

Louvre probes its collection for Nazi and colonial loot in massive provenance research project

Museum launches an online catalogue of 485,000 objects while curators comb through wartime acquisitions and works from former colonies

Hunt still on for a Van Gogh self-portrait lost deep in a salt mine during the Second World War

The Magdeburg masterpiece may have been burned at the end of hostilities—but some believe it might have been looted and survive

a blog by Martin Bailey

In honour of Armistice Day, more than 100 English war memorials listed as sites of historical importance

Monuments commemorating the First and Second World Wars—mostly built in small towns and villages—are added to Historic England's list of protected places

Booksreview

Charting a Life: MacDonald Gill, who designed the inscriptions that form an egalitarian monument to the British and Commonwealth fallen of two world wars

The first biography of ‘Max’ Gill reveals the versatile talent of an artist who was a master of lettering and murals and a standout mapmaker-artist

Sculpture by Arno Breker—one of Hitler’s favourite artists—found buried in Berlin museum garden

Missing for 75 years, the large marble head, one of the artist's best-known works, was uncovered by chance during construction work at Kunsthaus Dahlem

National museum in Stockholm to return stolen 16th-century painting to Poland

Officials in Poland and Sweden piece together provenance of work by School of Lucas Cranach the Elder

Code-cracking lot: Second World War Enigma machine on offer at Vienna’s Dorotheum

The Germans believed Enigma was uncrackable; cryptographers at Bletchley Park broke the code, contributing to the Allies’ victory

Executed by the Nazis: the story of Vincent van Gogh’s brave great-nephew

This month the Van Gogh family pays tribute to Theodoor, the 24-year-old student who faced a firing squad in 1945

a blog by Martin Bailey

The cultural consequences of the Second World War carry into today

From art restitutions to how museum adapted to wartime constraints, we continue to feel the fallout 75 years after the conflict’s end

What can we learn from museums during the Second World War?

On the 75th anniversary of VE Day, we look back at how art institutions adapted to wartime constraints, from tours without pictures to child's play

The astonishing tales of how the Sunflowers survived the Second World War

To mark VE Day, we investigate the fate of Van Gogh’s masterpieces under Hitler and Churchill

a blog by Martin Bailey
Booksreview

Book offers broadest and deepest study of Nazi culture yet

This is the first publication to fully examine the cultural output of the Third Reich, which, unsurprisingly, failed to produce great art

Obituariesfeature

Obituary: Nathalie Brooke, a leading figure in the preservation of Venice

A remarkable cultural ambassador in London's art, political, and musical scene and on return visits to her native Russia. One of the founders of Venice in Peril

This book gives a first-hand account of Second World War art and propaganda

A vivid account of the art arising from the experiences of the artist, George Plante

Churchill's 'strongest link' in the Battle of Britain: new museum tells story of Biggin Hill airfield

Bitter campaign against the new museum, comparing design to concentration camp structure, almost derailed the project

From the archive, 1 October 1990: 'We did not pursue any party political nonsense on the Museum Island'

On the 25th anniversary of German reunification, we republish our first ever front-page story, in which East Berlin museums chief Günter Schade defends his record and reveals how East German museums sold in order to buy

Bode museum finally lays bare its war-damaged collection

An exhibition in Berlin surveys the ethical implications of restoring damaged art

Fixing - or not fixing - the works in Berlin's sculpture collections damaged in 1945

Should they be left as a reminder of a dark past or restored to reflect the artists’ intentions?

Germany’s Nazi past is evoked in Anselm Kiefer’s first retrospective in the UK

Dealing with the traumatic experience of growing up in a nation rising from the ruins of the Third Reich has been an important theme in the artist's work

The message about looted art is finally getting through as Cambodia is inundated with returned loot

The restitution of Cambodian statues by major museums and auction houses is an encouraging sign

Nazi lootarchive

Nazi loot claim for Tate’s Constable

Beaching a Boat, Brighton, has been claimed by the heirs of Baron Ferenc Hatvany

Heirs of persecuted dealer Alfred Flechtheim reject provenance project over restitution claims

The Jewish dealer’s relatives say participating museums are not dealing satisfactorily with their claims

Filmsarchive

The art of warfare: new documentary on practical applications of art installation during WWII

Rick Beyer’s “The Ghost Army” is the story of the artists who worked to throw the German army off the scent of the real location of Allied troops

Getty Institute publishes Nazi auction data

Rise in restitution claims expected after launch of online German auction catalogues for 1930-45

Looted artarchive

The Dutch government gives up its claim on Nazi loot

The decision not to appeal cannot but weaken its claim to other war booty such as the Koenigs collection still held in Russia

Newsarchive

Germany supports research into Russia’s wartime losses

Archives of the western allies will be searched for clues

The source of infamous forger Van Meegeren’s secret supplies exposed

A Scotland Yard report shows that the notorious Dutch faker bought lapis lazuli paint for his “Vermeers” in bulk from Winsor & Newton

Museumsarchive

Oligarch Marek Roefler opens museum in Warsaw

Collector shows off Polish art with French accent

Newsarchive

Ukraine suffered “colossal” looting during World War II

New research challenges Russians’ claim that they own many cultural valuables from the independent state

Booksarchive

Books: French culture under the Nazis

How artists and the arts fared under the Vichy regime and the German occupation of France, 1940-44

Filmsarchive

Art in the media: Light and dark after the war at the Ferus Gallery and in the art of Georg Baselitz

Ostensibly disparate films illuminate art after the end of World War II

The increasing role of the market in settling restitution claims

Shakeouts of Nazi-looted occurring increasingly in the marketplace

Forgeriesarchive

Can past nuclear explosions help detect forgeries?

The inventors of a new technique for dating paintings say it can prove whether a work was made before or after 1945

March 2008archive

Two new Holocaust memorials for Berlin

Parliament approves final budgets for monuments to homosexuals and Roma and Sinti people murdered by the Nazis

MoMA and Guggenheim file joint appeal against restitution effort

They dispute claims made by Julius Schoeps on Picassos in their collection

Amsterdam sale concludes Goudstikker series

Old masters, recovered as a result of one of the world’s largest Nazi restitution claims, net $20m

Successful Amsterdam sale concludes the series of Goudstikker auctions

Old masters, recovered as a result of one of the world’s largest Nazi restitution claims, net $20m

Norton Simon Museum of Art and Goudstikker heiress to go to court over fight for Cranachs

Marei von Saher claims they are Nazi loot, while Norton Simon believes it has legal title to the paintings

Looted artarchive

The German museum paintings secretly sold by the British government in 1946

Nearly 80 pictures, including works by Cranach and Kauffmann, were seized from the German embassy in London

Booksarchive

Nazi crime revelations raise questions about the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

The late collector Heini Thyssen forced himself to forget his family’s Nazi involvement, but so did the countries that vied for his and his father’s pictures in the 1980s. This well documented book gives the details

Looted artarchive

Revealed: six paintings in Maritime Museum were seized by British troops from Nazi Germany

Last month we reported that a Nazi picture in the London gallery was taken by British soldiers at the end of World War II. We have now discovered that other works of art were also removed

Newsarchive

Growing evidence that Göring seized National Gallery’s Cranach from its pre-war owner

We uncover the remarkable story of how a US war reporter governed Hitler’s mountain retreat for a day and took control of Reichsmarschall Göring’s collection of stolen art

Auschwitz survivor wants her art back from concentration camp

Roma portraits were made by Jewish prisoner on the orders of Dr Josef Mengele

Looted artarchive

Revealed: National Gallery’s Cranach is war loot

The painting was taken from Germany at the end of World War II

The Bode Museum reborn in Berlin after nearly 70 years

The vast collection of sculptural works removed on the outbreak of World War II are now back on view in the newly-restored building

July 2006archive

France promised Mona Lisa to Mussolini to avert war: The untold story of Leonardo's 1939 Milan retrospective

King George VI loaned 19 of his best Leonardo drawings to Milan for the most important exhibition on the artist ever held

Books: The view from eastern Europe on restitution

These essays emanate from a series of Polish conferences

Nazi Loot Picasso case can proceed in California

Marilynn Alsdorf had hoped the case would be thrown out of court

War provenance art: a growing source of supply in the market

Christie’s follows Sotheby’s and appoints a director of restitution

Ukraine returns Koenigs’ looted drawings

But the 139 works go to Dutch State, not collector’s heirs

May 2004archive

The US finally unveils its Second World War memorial

It has taken almost 60 years to commemorate the 400,000 American soldiers who died in the conflict

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