Looted Art


Photo: The Scotsman

A newspaper reports today that a search on Google may have uncovered a suspected looted tapestry in a Scottish collection. For more read here.

I recently watched the film, The Rape of Europa (2006). A film dealing with the looting of artwork during World War 2. Rose Valland stood out with her role in the secret recording of the details of over 20,000 looted paintings and artworks when she worked at the Jeu de Paume Museum when the Germans took over the building and used it as a holding center for looted art. She secretly noted the paintings, the owners and where the paintings were bound for. She passed this information onto the Resistance. A film The Train(1964) was made based on her book and centered on the train shipments of the artwork from Paris onto Germany.

Sadly not all items have been returned or can be returned to their rightful owners. Today there is an archive of looted art. You can look up the numerous artwork and other items that are lost or in the care of those that do not wish to return them. A woman in the documentary The Rape of Europa commented that they were just being patient waiting for those that stole to die, and for their offspring to sell the works and for them to come to light and eventually be returned to their rightful owners, the caretakers or the heirs of the owners.

There is a film coming out soon The Monument Men (2013)  dealing with the Allied Forces art experts called “the monument men” who worked in the recovery, documentation, preservation and return of artwork and preservation of monuments in Europe at the end of the war and the days after.


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