The director of the Uffizi Gallery, the great art museum of Florence, has requested this Tuesday to Germany the return of an eighteenth-century painting by the Dutch artist Jan van Huysum stolen by the Nazis during the Second World War. "A request to Germany for 2019: we wish that this year finally be returned to the Uffizi Gallery the famous Jar with flowers of the Dutch painter Jan van Huysum stolen by the Nazi soldiers, "German museum director Eike Schmidt said in a statement," Schmidt said the painting is in the hands of "a German family that after all this time he has not returned it to the museum, despite the requests of the Italian State. "
The canvas is an oil painting, 47 by 35 centimeters, by Van Huysum (1682-1749), an artist specializing in still lifes, most of whom belong, since 1824, to the collections of the Florentine Pitti Palace, dependent on the Uffizi. In 1944, the soldiers of the Wehrmacht, in retreat from Italy, took it along with other works. The track was lost until it was located in 1991, after German reunification, explained Schmidt. "Because of this case, which affects the heritage of the Uffizi Gallery, the wounds of the Second World War and the Nazi terror have not healed," he added.
Art historian, Schmidt believes that "Germany should eliminate the prescription for works stolen during the conflict so that they are recovered by their legitimate owners." The Uffizi note that on several occasions intermediaries of the family that owns the work have tried to ask for a reward in exchange for the painting, but, after the last attempt, the Florentine Prosecutor opened an investigation since the work is of the Italian State and, for therefore, unsellable.
While waiting for the original to be returned, a black and white reproduction is exhibited in the Florentine museum with the mention of "stolen" (in Italian, English and German) and a short text explaining that "the work It was stolen by soldiers of the Nazi Army in 1944 and is now part of a German private collection. "