Palace rules out connection to paintings

The Foreigner 24 February 2010

Possible Nazi art thefts remain in Canadian gallery. Scepticism at home.

K. UCHERMANN 1879 oil canvas “Rabbits”
K. UCHERMANN 1879 oil canvas “Rabbits”
Photo: By Permission Art Gall. Grtr. Victoria


The mystery surrounding the four 19th century paintings by I.C. Dahl, Adolph Tidemand, Karl Uchermann, and Anton Nowak in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s cellar remains unsolved.

Whilst Vidkun Quisling claimed the Nazis stole 50 paintings from the Palace, Jon Tupper, the gallery’s director, alleges they were brought to Canada by Emmy Graf – a chambermaid at the Palace – just before the Nazis invaded Oslo in WWII.

Meanwhile, the Palace says they have no record of either Graf or the paintings, and they haven’t been registered as stolen with the Art Loss Register in London.

“The Royal Household has made enquiries into the matter and has found that the works of art come don’t from the Palace,” Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, the Palace’s Assistant Director of Communications tells NRK.


But Graf never returned the paintings after the war, and they were bequeathed to the gallery by Walter and Emmy Graf-Howard in 1993.

Whilst the gallery say they still haven’t discovered their origin, Hans Richard Elgheim at Grev Wedsels Plass Auctioneers in Oslo, finds it hard to believe the Canadians have taken 17 years to realise the paintings were stolen.

“If an issue is serious enough, you keep going until you’ve got an answer. Personally I doubt the whole story, and think the way the gallery presents it indicates they don’t really believe it either.
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