The Henie Onstad Arts Center in Norway has agreed to return Matisse’s Woman in Blue in Front of a Fireplace (1937) to heirs of Parisian art dealer turned New Yorker Paul Rosenberg. In a statement to the NYT on Friday, museum chairman Halvor Stenstadvold said, “extensive investigation of the case has led to the decision that the return is justified.” The painting was purchased by shipping magnate, Niels Onstad in 1950, who later founded the arts center with figure skater Sonja Henie in 1968.
According to documents provided by Rosenberg’s heirs, the Matisse was one of 162 artworks seized from the dealer in September 1941. The painting was, at one point, in the possession of Luftwaffe head, Hermann Goering. Henie was known for having friendly relations with Hitler in the lead up to World War II. Though, no connection has been made between those ties and the acquisition of the work.
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