Heirs send Nazi-era looted art to auction in Berlin

The Art Newspaper 8 September 2014
By Clemens Bomsdorf

Work by Adolph von Menzel was in Vienna’s Albertina

Stehenden Rüstungen, 1866

The first work restituted to the heirs of Adele Pächter, the widow of German art dealer Hermann Pächter, is due to be sold at auction at Berlin’s Villa Griesebach on 26 November. Adolph von Menzel’s gouache on paper depicting suits of armour Stehenden Rüstungen, 1866, (est. €100,000 -€150 000) was until recently in Vienna’s Albertina museum.

The work was handed back to the Pächter’s heirs earlier this year on the recommendation of the Austrian government's Art Restitution Advisory Board. The board based its decision on information uncovered by a researcher showing that Adele Pächter, who was Jewish, “was forced to sell works [from her private collection]”, according to a document from the Austrian authorities.

Florian Illies, a partner at the auction house, tells The Art Newspaper that a researcher has traced other works by Menzel that the Pächter family had to sell during the Nazi era. Pächter, who was based in Berlin, was Menzel’s dealer as well as his friend.
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