ART COMES HOME TO ITALY

Risultati immagini per vaso di fiori jan van huysum

Eike Schmidt, curator of the Uffizi Museums in Florence, announced his satisfaction in being able to hang up “A Vase of Flowers”, by the celebrated 17th century Flemish still life artist Jan van Huysum, in what had formerly been its original place on the wall of Palazzo Pitti. For several months, the curator had hung and black and white copy of the painting on the gallery wall in protest, with the caption “Stolen” in English, German and Italian.

The return of the painting was the result of extensive and protracted negotiations with the German authorities. The painting had been stolen during the last war by a German soldier who sent it to his wife. He recounted his gesture in a letter he wrote in 1944.

The “Vase of Flowers” is only the last in a series of successes for Italy in recovering illegally exported works of art. The first big coup was in 2006 when the then Minister of Culture, Francesco Rutelli, negotiated with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for the return of 13 important Etruscan and Roman antiquities. Soon after, he was able to persuade the Metropolitan Museum of New York to send back to Italy the magnificent Etruscan Euphronius Krater that had been illegally exported in 1962 through the shady American dealer Robert Hecht.

The battle is by no means over. Italy has lost countless antiquities and works of art through unauthorized digs by “tombaroli” (tomb robbers) and under-the-counter sales. One of the most outstanding cases is the “Lisippo di Fano”, or the Victorious Youth, a masterpiece of Greek sculpture by the 4th century BC artist Lysippos, found in the sea off the coast of Pesaro and acquired illegally by the Paul Getty Museum some forty years ago. The statue is a major attraction of the California collection, and one which the Getty seem determined to hang on to.

Info: www.uffizi.it



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30 Jul 2019