Soviet's Hungarian art loot to get display

March 4, 2005 at 12:22 PM
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GORKY, Russia, March 4 (UPI) -- The State Nizhny Novgorod Art Museum in Gorky, Russia, is planning to exhibit art looted from Hungary by Soviet troops in World War II.

The art, including works by El Greco, Tintoretto, Francisco Goya, Camille Corot, and most of the leading French Impressionists, was apparently stolen from Jewish families in Hungary. It was taken to Northern Germany where it was seized by the Soviet 49th Army based in Gorky in 1945. Existence of the collection remained secret until 1990.

Although Russia has an official policy of keeping art seized in Germany as compensation for its losses during the war, the exhibit is being mounted in September under the auspices of a joint Russian-American project called Heritage Revealed. Russia returned 15 paintings from the collection to Hungary in 1972 and two more in 1992.

Thursday's announcement gave no hint about the future of the rest of the collection, but it was noted that Heritage Revealed is supported by cosmetics tycoon Ronald Lauder and liquor magnate Edgar Bronfman, who have played crucialsrole in restoring confiscated property to Jewish families.

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