Françoise Nyssen, Minister of Culture, welcomes the restitution to the heirs of Gaston Lévy thanks to the assistance of Agnès Sevestre-Barbé, council and representative of the heirs of Gaston Lévy, of two paintings, The Golden Horn, Morning of Paul Signac and White jelly, young peasant making fire of Camille Pissarro, and salutes the action of the services of the Ministry of Culture and the Musée d'Orsay for having worked there.
The analysis of the documentation provided by the rights holders, as well as the research carried out in recent months by the Service des musées de France, the Musée d'Orsay and the Diplomatic Archives have made it possible to better trace the history of these two works. Considered seized in France by the Occupation forces, the paintings were found at Kogl Castle by the Allies who transferred them to the Central Collecting Point in Munich before they were returned to France in September 1947. They were thus part of the works of artistic recovery, but quickly disappeared in conditions still unknown to this day. It was therefore not possible to return them to their rightful owners or to add them to the list of National Museums Recuperation – “MNR”, an acronym that generically refers to works returned from Germany at the end of the Second World War, after having for the most part been plundered from Jews, and entrusted to the custody of the national museums, pending their restitution to their legitimate owners or their rightful holders.
Found during a customs seizure, they were kept from 2000 at the Musée d'Orsay and were retrospectively inscribed among the «MNR».
The Minister of Culture remains mobilized by the necessary fulfilment of this duty of justice and reparation and is pleased that the restitution of «MNR» continue to be made possible by the deepening of research on the sources of these goods resulting from artistic recovery.