Franck Riester, Minister of Culture, welcomes the return of 17 pieces of porcelain to the heirs of Lucy Jonquet, thanks to the assistance of the Genealogists of France who have made it possible to identify and find the various rights holders, and welcomes the work of the Ministry of Culture departments who have worked there.

This ensemble consists of 17 different pieces of porcelain, mainly of the eighteenth century and German manufacture or, for four of them, from the Manufacture of Sèvres.

Immatriculés dans l’inventaire de la récupération artistique sous les numéros MCSR CXL, CLIX, CLXI, CLXII, CLXIV, CLXV, CLXVI, CLXVII, CLXVIII, CLXIX, CLXX, CLXXI, CLXXII, CLXXVII 1 à 4, ces objets font partie des biens « Musées nationaux Récupération », « MNR », a generic acronym for works found in Germany at the end of the Second World War after being, for the most part, plundered from Jews, brought back to France and entrusted to the custody of national museums, pending their return to their rightful owners or beneficiaries.

These 17 pieces were seized on February 6, 1942 by the German looting service, the «ERR» (the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg), in a Parisian storage unit, in the name of Princess Colloredo, actually Lucy Jonquet, First wife of Prince Colloredo, whom she divorced before the war. It is likely that the looters were actually targeting another member of the Colloredo family, Berthie von Colloredo-Mansfeld.

The pieces were then transferred to the Jeu de Paume Museum, a place of transit and conservation of stolen objects. Then they were sent to Seisenegg in Austria on November 18, 1943. They were repatriated to France on 17 March 1948, retained by the fifth commission of choice for works of artistic recovery on 25 October 1950 and attributed to national museums (Musée national de céramique de Sèvres) in 1951.

Recent research on the history of NMRs by the Ministry of Culture, with the help of researchers from museums and archives conservation centres, including the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, have established the identity of the owner of these documents.

This restitution was thus made possible by the voluntarist approach, launched several years ago and which has regularly borne fruit with 19 works and objects returned between 2016 and 2019, consisting, without waiting for rights holders to manifest, to identify the owner of the works «MNR» at the time of their plunder, then their current beneficiaries.

As part of an unprecedented partnership that took place in 2015, the Ministry of Culture entrusted Genealogists of France, the national organization representing the genealogist profession, with the task of identifying the current heirs of the owners of several stolen works, including pieces from the Jonquet-Colloredo family. Genealogists of France has thus agreed to grant the Ministry of Culture the benefit of its unique know-how, in the form of a patronage of competence, in order to carry out the necessary research to find these rights holders.

We remain mobilized by this necessary duty of justice and reparation. I am pleased that "MNR" refunds continue to be made possible by the deepening of provenance research on "MNR" properties, but also on permanent collections."   Franck Riester, Minister of Culture.