The heirs of Gustav and Emma Mayer will be receiving one of many items that the Nazis stole during the war. The painting, Blumenstilleben, has been in the collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels, along with approximately 30 other works thought to have been stolen during World War II.
Last month, the lawyer for the couple’s grandchildren received a letter from Thomas Dermine, Belgian secretary of state, notifying them that the painting will be returned. I was a little troubled by the following — in the 1960s, German authorities compensated the Mayer family for their loss. Now the relatives will be asked to pay 4,100 Euros, which appears to be the ‘estimated’ cost of the painting (still trying to determine if that is the original cost, or the amount they were compensated for in the 1960s). Regardless, don’t you think they, and their family, have gone through enough? Let alone what they must have spent in legal fees.
As with so many other restituted works, I am sure this one will be put up for sale in the not-to-distant future. Gotta cover those legal fees!