75 years after small oil painting Vase of Flowers by the Dutch artist Jan van Huysum was seized by the Nazis during WWII, it today returned to Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy. The painting was taken by retreating Nazi troops from the nearby village it was hidden at in 1944. This is “a great victory for the whole of Italy”, Eike Schmidt, the German director of the Gallerie degli Uffizi, which includes the Pitti Palace, told Reuters.
In a dramatic vindication, this victory comes months after Schmidt he hung a black-and-white scale print of the still life, with “Stolen!” in English, Italian and German laid over the picture, in the museum on the New Years Day.
After it was rediscovered in 1991, the painting fell into the feud between Italy, and its then owner, the descendants of the soldier, who insisted that the work was lawfully bought at a market. A negotiation between two parties at the time reportedly failed after the family made demands Uffizi refused to accommodate.
A 30-year statute of limitations in Germany on alleged crimes also contributed to the delay of return.
Photo Credit: Uffizi director Eike Schmidt hung a reproduction of the work in the Pitti Palace in January Uffizi Galleries via Twitter.