October 11, 2019
Heritage Newspaper’s print audience doesn’t get to read responses to articles that are posted in the online edition of the paper (unless they also read the online edition). Here are this week’s responses: “A Jewish family sold this Kandinsky painting to survive the Nazis and Amsterdam is keeping it” by Cnaan Liphshiz, Sept. 13, 2019 issue:
I think in this case the painting should not be returned and no restitution should be provided. As I understand the issue, the State Museum in Holland purchased the painting. There is no allegation of coercion, threats, or confiscation. The family willingly sold the painting for something of value, their lives. And Holland did not start the war or participate in the Holocaust. The situation would be much different if the Nazis or the German State Museum had purchased the painting during WW2.
Hundreds of millions of people died during WW2 and it is impossible to provide restitution to all. Moreover, passage of time means that very few of the persons actually damaged by the war are still living. Millions lost houses, furnishings, children, parents, limbs, etc. Every person impacted by the war could make a similar argument to that of the family that sold the Kandinsky painting. In this case the good of the public, to view the painting, outweighs any restitution due heirs.—Rocketman90251
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