©REUTERS - The Uffizi museum in Firenze

The Uffizi Art Gallery in Florence has called on the German government to ensure that a painting by the Dutch painter Jan van Huysum returns to Italy. According to them, the work was stolen by German soldiers during the Second World War.

The work ‘Vaso di Fiori’ by Jan van Huysum (1682-1749) is now owned by a family in Germany, which despite several requests from the Italian government, does not want to return it to the Italian museum.

The canvas was stolen by soldiers of the Wehrmacht and was missing for decades. It only reappeared in 1991 after German unification. Several intermediaries were already in contact with the Italian government, but asked for compensation. The parquet in Firenze has even opened an investigation. According to the gallery, the work is already owned by the Italian state and cannot therefore be bought or sold.

“Germany is morally obliged to return the work to our museum”, says director Eike Schmidt. “Because of this case, the wounds of WWII and the Nazi terror are still not healed”.

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