Norwegian Museum Will Return Matisse Painting to Heirs

  • March 24, 2014 00:09

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Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, 2013. Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A Nazi-looted painting by Henri Matisse will be returned to the heirs of a Jewish art dealer by a museum in Norway. Painted in 1937, "Woman in Blue in Front of a Fireplace” is valued at about $40 million.

On Friday, the Henie Onstad Art Center near Oslo (HOK) announced that it would return the Matisse to the family of Parisian art dealer Paul Rosenberg who had fled the Nazis in 1940. Some 162 artworks owned by Rosenberg were confiscated by the Nazis.

In 2012, the heirs of Rosenberg contacted the museum to make the claim. Provenance research was then undertaken.

The painting was in the museum’s collection since 1961 when the HOK was founded by shipping magnate Niels Onstad and his wife, Olympic figure-skating champion Sonja Henie. 

Under Norwegian law the museum could have retained the artwork.

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