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Current Affairs

Restitution of art works in France

Date: 11 February 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous


The National Assembly of France has adopted a bill unanimously to return precious art work back to their rightful owners.



Jewish citizens, during the peak of World War II, were deprived of these artifacts either due to financial duress or forcefully looted by the Nazis.



  • The government will return the confiscated and stolen assets to people in their countries of origin after the bill becomes a law.

  • The art works are currently spread across different locations in the country including the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

  • During the peak of Nazi occupation, approximately 1 lakh artworks were looted in France during the war.


The collection

  • Twelve out of 15 artworks included in the Bill are part of the Armand Dorville Collection. He was a Jewish lawyer who had to flee Paris after Nazi occupation.

  • Art works include Marc Chagall’s Le Père and Austrian master Gustav Klimt’s oil painting Roses Under the Trees.


Government’s measures

  • The French Culture Ministry is making efforts to identify works seized from Jews by the Nazis that are in its institutions.

  • The government in 2013 had returned works by Alessandro Longhi, Sebastiano Ricci and Gaspare Diziani to their rightful owners.

  • Works of Georges Michel, Paul Delaroche, Auguste Hesse, and Jules-Jacques Veyrassat would also be returned to their rightful owners.

  • French President had carried out talks with President of Benin for the return of 26 artworks taken from the Royal Palaces of Abomey in 1892.



Restitution is an act of giving back something that has been lost or stolen. In this context, it refers to priceless art works that were stolen or forcefully taken away from rightful owners by the Nazis during World War II.