Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, Minister of Culture, welcomes the adoption by Parliament of the bill on the restitution or return of certain cultural property to the rights holders of their owners victims of anti-Semitic persecution. After adoption by the National Assembly on 25 January, the Senate voted in favour of the text on 15 February 2022.

The Minister of Culture thanks all the deputies and senators for the quality work carried out on this bill and the remarkable consensus that accompanied the discussions on this text, allowing its adoption unanimously by both houses.

The rapid adoption of this historic text shows the absolute commitment of the Government and parliamentarians to redress the consequences of the anti-Semitic persecution of the Second World War.

The law will allow the restitution or handing over of fifteen works of public collections – fourteen works of national collections and one work of collections of the city of Sannois – plundered by the Nazis to their Jewish owners, or acquired by the State during the Occupation in troubled conditions.

The table will be returned to the rights holders of their owners Roses under trees Gustav Klimt, sold under duress in August 1938 in Vienna by Nora Stiasny, the painting The Father from Marc Chagall, stolen from David Cender in Lodz, Poland, in 1940, as well as the painting Carrefour in Sannois Maurice Utrillo, stolen from Georges Bernheim in Paris in December 1940. In addition, twelve works by Jean-Louis Forain, Constantin Guys, Pierre-Jules Mène, Henry Monnier and Camille Roqueplan will be given to the rights holders of Armand Dorville because of the questionable context of their acquisition by the national museums in 1942, during a public sale placed under provisional administration by the Commissariat Général aux questions juives.

This first law of restitution of stolen property and handing over works acquired in questionable circumstances to victims of anti-Semitic persecution, evidence of the strengthening of the commitment of the State in the work aimed at tracing the path followed between 1933 and 1945 by works entered into public collections during or after this period. The research of provenance, which is developing today in museums, is a priority of the Ministry of Culture.

The Minister thanks all the services of the Ministry of Culture and the public museums – Musée d'Orsay, Musée du Louvre, Château de Compiègne, National Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Art and History of Judaism, Utrillo-Valadon Museum – which preserved these works, as well as the Commission for the compensation of victims of dispossession and the city of Sannois, for their decisive action in favour of this act of justice and dignity that constitute the restitution and delivery of these works of art.

The Minister salutes the families and rights holders of the dispossessed and victims of anti-Semitic persecution, and thanks them for the research they have conducted themselves.

It should also be recalled that beyond this first law on works belonging to the public domain, the restitution of works called «National Museums Recovery» (MNR), remnants of works brought back from Germany after the Second World War, which are not part of the national collections, continue on a regular basis: 178 works have been restored since 1950, 54 of them in the last five years.

The State is listening to the descendants of the victims; these works of art rightfully belong to them, in memory of their forefathers.