News / Middle East

Israeli Organization Searches for Art Looted by Nazis

Israeli Organization Searches for Art Looted by Nazisi
X
January 10, 2014 8:09 PM
International efforts are intensifying to recover and identify items stolen by the Nazis during World War II, including paintings, ceramics, books and religious treasures. In Israel, a committee is pressing local museums to search their collections for artwork looted by the Nazis. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Mike Richman
International efforts are intensifying to recover and identify items stolen by the Nazis during World War II, including paintings, ceramics, books and religious treasures.  In Israel, a committee is pressing local museums to search their collections for artwork looted by the Nazis. 

Israeli authorities believe more than 1,000 pieces of artwork stolen by the Nazis were sent to Israel for safekeeping after World War II.

An Israeli state-run committee has been assigned to track down unclaimed assets in Israel of Jews killed during the Holocaust.  

On Thursday, the committee convened officials from Israel's major museums for a talk on the search effort.

Israel Peleg is leading the committee.

"We know that after the war at least 400 pieces of art paintings reached the shores of Israel and the museum in Israel.  The Israel museum has already publicized it, and we believe that the research, the provenance research, should be done now by all the museums in Israel, which they are cooperating very carefully with us," said Peleg.

Peleg voiced hope the unclaimed artwork would find its way to descendants of its owners.

"The idea of starting now this effort is a breakthrough in the effort to return to the rightful heirs of the Holocaust victims the pieces of art which belong to their families," he said.

Wesley Fisher is with the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which negotiates for restitution of Jewish-owned property.

He welcomed the Israeli effort.

"As we do our work in the claims conference and in the world Jewish restitution organization, in particular, we very often find that in regard to art works, Judaica, libraries and manuscripts, we cannot reach closure on what went where and find everything without knowing what went to Israel," said Fisher.

The country's largest museum, the Israel Museum, has had success in returning Nazi-looted art to its owners.

The museum houses 1,200 pieces of art stolen during World War II and shipped to Israel when its owners could not be found.  Ten of the pieces have since been handed over to their rightful families.

James Snyder is the museum's director.  

"The Israel Museum, because we're in Israel, we feel that we need to be exemplary in the subject of restitution of art lost in World War II," said Snyder.

The issue of Holocaust victims' unclaimed assets in Israel made headlines three years ago.  At the time, one of Israel's major banks agreed to pay $37 million to survivors and heirs for funds deposited before World War II by Jews who later died in the conflict.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid