The fate of a medieval treasure acquired by the Nazis before the United States Supreme Court
Washington (AFP) - The United States Supreme Court will sail between the Middle Ages and the 1930s on Monday in a hearing devoted to the Treasury of the Guelphs, an art collection acquired by the Nazi regime from Jewish art dealers .
Finely chiseled gold crosses, pieces of goldsmith's work, sumptuous reliquaries ...the object of the conflict relates to religious works created between the 11th and 14th centuries, today exhibited in a Berlin museum.
"This case is a case of restitution, of reparations for a forced sale with great financial implications, but it is first and foremost a matter of justice," Jed Leiber, a Californian musician who sues Germany, told AFP in memory of his grandfather.
The latter, Saemy Rosenberg, was an art dealer in Frankfurt in the 1920s; together with other Jewish colleagues, he had bought, shortly before the stock market crash of 1929, all of his treasury from the Duke of Brunswick, descendant of the House of the Guelphs.
In a stricken market, they had managed to resell half the coins to American collectors in 1932, and had the remaining quarantine safe in safes in the Netherlands.
In 1935, two years after Adolf Hitler came to power, they ceded it cheaply to the Prussian state - then headed by Hermann Göring, the founder of the Gestapo.
For Leiber, "it was simply impossible in 1935 for a Jewish trader, let alone those in possession of a German national treasure, to get an honest deal with whoever was perhaps the greatest thief.of art throughout history ".
- Treasury of more than 200 million euros -
But Germany does not see it that way."It was not a forced sale," said the Foundation for Prussian Cultural Heritage, a public institution that manages many museums including the one where the Guelph's Treasure is exhibited ( "Welfenschatz" in German).
Posted Date: 2021-01-06