A painting by Camille Pissarro and a drawing by Adolph Menzel—both from the collection of the late Cornelius Gurlitt, who had been hiding a trove of artworks inherited from his father, Hildebrand, an art dealer for the Nazis—have finally been returned to the heirs of the original owners, reports Catherine Hickley of the Art Newspaper. So far, a total of four artworks from the Gurlitt collection have been restituted. Ninety-one other works, from artists such as Paul Cézanne, Max Beckmann, Albrecht Dürer, Edvard Munch, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas, are greatly suspected of being sold under duress by or stolen from their Jewish owners.
Monika Grütters, Germany’s minister of culture, returned the Menzel drawing to the heirs of Elsa Helene Cohen on February 20. Cohen sold the work to Hildebrand in 1938 so that she could pay for her escape to the United States. The Pissarro was returned to the relatives of Max Heilbronn, a French Jewish businessman, on February 17. “Germany must do everything to clarify the personal fates of persecuted people like Elsa Cohen, who saw themselves forced into selling artworks at that time, and return them to the heirs with no ifs or buts,” said Grütters in a statement.