Düsseldorf apologizes for insult – and offers new conversation about looted art

Düsseldorf apologizes for insult – and offers new conversation about looted art

In the years of controversy surrounding the praise of the Nazi-persecuted Jewish art dealer Max Stern (1904–1987), Düsseldorf Mayor Stephan Keller (CDU) has offered new talks of Canadian property.

On Tuesday, Keller apologized over the presentation of the exhibition » Vine and Booty. Art dealer Max Stern « for the cancellation of the show by his predecessor Thomas Geisel (SPD). The controversy that has arisen since 2017 was “regrettable” and was to be treated as an insult. After several postponements, the controversial Max Stern exhibition will be presented to the public for the first time on Thursday in Düsseldorf.

Keller promised the Canadian Max Stern Art Restoration Project that it would “responsibly deal” with pending return requests. He was “ready to have new talks.” These have to be operated on a secure legal basis.

He hopes that with the end of the exhibition, the time has come to have an exchange with the Max Stern art restoration project. In the Canadian project, three universities are researching works of art from the collection. Since then more than 20 works have been returned to museums and through the art trade.

This was preceded by a controversy which led to the withdrawal of Canadian experts from the exhibition. The city top, under then-mayor Geisel, surprisingly unilaterally canceled the presentation in 2017 and justified it with current requests for information and reinstatement.

Canadian Star experts feel duped personally and professionally. He also refused to participate in the exhibition, which has since been revamped. The Düsseldorf Jewish community is also not included.

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The debate about the two reinstatement cases still pending regarding Max Stern is a serious issue. One of the paintings in question – “The Artist’s Children” (1830) by Friedrich Wilhelm von Schadow – is shown at the exhibition. A restoration request has been submitted for work from the Max Stern Art Restoration Project.

Max Stern was forced by the Nazis to close his Düsseldorf gallery in 1937. He was able to escape to Paris and London and immigrated to Canada in 1941, where he made a successful fresh start. DPA

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