Switzerland has a sparse history in returning Nazi-looted art to rightful heirs. A recent case bucks the trend and shows the success of one man's quiet, but steely determination to recover his family's art collection, which was decades-ago seized and forcefully sold by France's Vichy government following demands from Hitler's art adviser.
On March 12, after a grueling decade-plus struggle from his home base outside Paris, Alain Monteagle recovered a painting by John Constable, Dedham from Langham (1813), that had been stolen in 1942 from his grandfather’s aunt. “I’ve regained a part of my family,” Monteagle said at an emotional ceremony at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. “I am full of joy.”