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October 2003 - Nr. 10


The Editor
To the Editor
Antje berichtet
Vienna Connection
Zurich Connection
Toronto Connection
Letzte Kraftanstrengung
KW and Beyond
Filmfest Stories
With Anton Kuerti
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Herwig Wandschneider
German-American Day
Stephen Harper Statement
Essay Contest
Old German Tradition
President Rau's Message
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
TSO & Lars Vogt on Piano
TSO: Composer Wanted
TSO - Boris Berezovsky
Dietrich & the Phone
Wins "Golden Shell"
Reubens Returned
Financial Advice
Frauenkirche Unveiled

Looted Rubens painting returned to Germany

   TWIG - One of the chief works of Dutch master painter Peter Paul Rubens, once considered a long-lost spoil of war, was returned to Germany on Saturday (September 27) by Russian officials.

Before being taken into protective storage in Rheinsberg in 1942, "Tarquinius and Lucretia" was among the showcase pieces of the Foundation for Prussian Castles and Gardens in Berlin-Brandenburg. As one of the most important works ever created by Rubens, it was a favorite among visitors to the Bildergalerie museum in Potsdam-Sanssouci, where it was exhibited.

Rubens, known for is vibrant colors and his larger-than-life epic oil paintings, finished the work in 1610/1611. The work depicts Tarquinius, the last Etruscan king who, according to legend, was expelled from Rome for his cruelty, and Lucretia, a chaste Roman wife.

The estimated value of the painting is $55 million.

The painting disappeared after the war ended and was considered missing until recently, when it surfaced on the art market in Moscow. The help of Russian officials in the painting’s return is rendered especially meaningful because Russia had passed a law in 1999 that officially made all spoils of war from Germany Russian property. Since then, however, the Russian government has been increasingly willing to return German cultural artifacts to their rightful owners.

German Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs Christina Weiss applauded the cooperation between Russia and Germany and thanked Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and President Vladimir Putin, both of whom played integral roles in the matter. "The safeguarding of the painting by Rubens is gratifying, and a signal: Art spoils are not a commodity to be traded on the market," Weiss proclaimed.

Cultural spoils of war, including plundering of the property of private citizens, have been prohibited since the Laws and Customs of War on Land was implemented at the Hague Conference of 1907.



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