Berlin Gets Back Stolen Work by Adolph von Menzel

Adolf von Menzel Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R30367 / CC-BY-SA

Nearly 70 years after it was presumably stolen from Berlin during World War Two, Adolph von Menzel’s  Aschermittwochmorgen (1885) has been returned to the city’s museums. The gouache work was the subject of lengthy negotiations between the Stiftung Preuβischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation), who announced its return on Tuesday, and the government of Lithuania where the piece was recovered.

“I am pleased that we have again been successful in recovering losses from the war,” foundation president Hermann Parzinger told the dpa on Wednesday. The Berlin museums purchased Aschermittwochmorgen just after its creation in 1885. It was placed in storage during the Second World War in order to prevent it from damage due to Allied bombing. Officials believe it was stolen some time in 1945 or 1946.

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