The heirs of the wife of El Lissitzky require a court to give them back a picture of Paul Klee
ARTinvestment.RU   28 марта 2012

Grandchildren Sophie Lissitzky-Kyuppers for several years tried unsuccessfully to return to the restitution of Paul Klee painting, "The Legend of swamps" for two million euros. Now they have filed a lawsuit
Paul Klee The Legend of swamps
Source: heirs of the German art historian Sophie Kyuppers (Sophie Lissitzky-Kueppers) - wife of the Russian artist El Lissitzky - sued the city government of Munich, requiring them to return for the restitution of Paul Klee painting stolen by Nazis from their grandmother. Cloth Clay "The Legend of bogs» («Sumpflegende») is now in the collection of the Museum of Munich Lenbahhauz. Three grandchildren Sophie Lissitzky-Kyuppers filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Bavaria, after his wife Munich refused to voluntarily return to work . The complaint, dated March 23, 2012, Klee painting is estimated at 2 million euros ($ 2.7 million).

Kyuppers Sophie received the "Legend of swamps," inherited from her first husband, Paul Erich Kyuppersa in 1922, then in 1926 she borrowed this and 15 other works of Hanover to the regional museum. After a while Sophie Lissitzky married and in 1927 moved to Moscow. And it belonged to the "Legend of wetlands" and remained in the museum. The canvas had been confiscated by the Nazis in 1937 on the orders of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. The picture "The Legend of swamps" participated in the infamous exhibition of "degenerate art" in Munich.

Munich "refused to return the picture Klee, constantly changing his argument in 1992 - says the lawyer Christoph von heirs Berg (Christoph von Berg) from the Leipzig law firm Von Berg Bandekow Zorn. - All attempts to reach an agreement heirs received in response to a rough refusal ».

Nazis, wanting to clean up a museum on the works, contrary to the Aryan ideals, they seized thousands of modernist works. In an online Free University of Berlin based listed 21,000 confiscated "degenerate" works by artists such as Otto Dix, Max Beckmann, Wassily Kandinsky , and Paul Klee. At the Munich exhibition of "The Legend of swamps," dubbed the creation of a mentally ill person.

In September 2010, the Mayor of Munich Christian Ude (Christian Ude) did not yield to the entreaties of the government commission headed by former chairman of the Constitutional Court Germany Yuttoy Limbach (Jutta Limbach), advising him to settle the dispute with the heirs of Lissitzky-Kyuppers. This Commission was established by the State Minister for Culture Bernd Neumann in 2003 to make recommendations about the controversial works in museum collections, returns sought by the heirs of Holocaust victims. But follow the advice of the commission is not required.

Mayor Ude, defending their right to work of Klee, says that 44 countries signed in Washington of 1998 do not apply to "degenerate art", confiscated from museums, and relate only to those works that have been removed immediately from private collections.

«The authorities in Munich are pleased that after years of wrangling at the informal level, restorative dispute with El Lissitzky-grandchildren will Kyuppers resolved by legal means, - said Ude. - The City of Munich in no way connected with the confiscation of "Legends of the marsh" by the Nazis and not removed even the slightest benefit from the exemption held by the Nazis ».

Heirs however, consider that in civil law Lisitskaya-Kyuppers never deprived of the rights to the canvas. They also believe that if you follow the principles of the Washington regulations, then hide behind some technical limitations and exceptions should not be in Munich.

heirs claimed that the legitimacy of their claims confirms the recent decision on a similar the case of the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe - Germany's highest court in all civil cases. March 16 this year, the court ruled that the German Historical Museum in Berlin must return to Restitution collection of posters of the heir to the Jewish dentist Hans Sachs.

Prepared by Mary Onuchina, AI

Sources :

See also: Today Kandinsky watercolors in a million euros put up for auction, despite the claims of the heirs of the pre-war owner

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