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A Swiss museum will remove 5 paintings potentially looted by Nazis

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Swiss Museum to rremove 5 paintings looted by Nazis

A Swiss museum said five artworks will be removed from public view on June 20 as it collaborates with the owner of the artworks to investigate whether the works were looted by Nazis during World War II.

On longterm loan to the Kunsthaus Zurich museum from collection owner the Foundation E. G. Bührle (or Bührle Foundation) the paintings in question are Jardin de Monet à Giverny by Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh's The Old Tower, La route montante by Paul Gauguin, Gustave Courbet's Portrait of the Sculptor Louis-Joseph and Georges-Henri Manuel by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

In a statement issued on Friday on its website, the museum said the Bührle Foundation requested the removal of the artworks as it assesses their provenance. The renewed scrutiny comes as a result of the U.S. State Department's latest best practices for handling Nazi-looted art, published in March. These expand the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art set forth in 1998.

"The Kunsthaus welcomes this stance, but very much regrets that, with respect to our visitors, five of the pictures are being removed from the Kunsthaus' rooms by the current owner, the Bührle Foundation," the museum said. "The Bührle Foundation is acting comprehensibly and correctly in accordance with the agreement with the city of Zurich and in accordance with the provisions of the permanent loan agreement."


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