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Emmanuelle Polack

Art Looted by Nazis Gets a New Space at the Louvre. But Is It Really Home?

Art Looted by Nazis Gets a New Space at the Louvre. But Is It Really Home?

Extrait de l’article d’Aurélien Breeden du 08/02/2018 que vous pouvez retrouver dans son intégralité sous le lien suivant :

« Emmanuelle Polack, an art historian who did her doctoral thesis on the Parisian art market under Nazi occupation, noted that the explanatory text in the exhibition rooms did not say that most of the looted artwork belonged to Jewish families.

Nor do the plaques beneath the paintings explain where and how each one was found in Germany, like the 19th-century portrait of two sisters by Jacques Augustin Pajou that was taken by the Nazi regime’s foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop.

Mr. Allard, the Louvre curator, acknowledged that the plaques and an existing sign were “insufficient,” but said the museum planned to put up a larger banner at the entrance to the rooms. He also said the Louvre would look into ways of encouraging visitors to use their smartphones to search the Rose-Valland database.

Still, Ms. Polack said the Louvre had missed an opportunity to create an interactive or educational space that visitors might seek out, rather than accidentally stumble on it while in search of the “Mona Lisa.”

“What is interesting is their history, the fact that they belonged to people, that they were taken to Germany and then returned,” Ms. Polack said of the paintings. Their special interest, she added, is not in their aesthetic qualities.

“They are removed from their historical context, and so you can’t understand the enduring necessity of returning them,” she said. “They were witness to a story — tell us that story!” »