Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Louvre Hopes New Exhibit Of Nazi-Looted Art Will Help Find Owners

The Louvre Museum in Paris has a new permanent exhibit: paintings stolen by the Nazis during the Nazi occupation of France, CNN reported.

More than 1,700 paintings that were recovered from Nazi looting hang on the walls of the Louvre, but the 31 paintings in this special exhibit are unique: They have yet to be reunited with their owners.

“These paintings don’t belong to us. Museums often looked like predators in the past, but our goal is to return them,” Sebastien Allard, the head of the paintings department at the Louvre, told the AP.

Though the Louvre has a long-standing program of returning looted artwork, it is laborious, and requires the claimant to provide proof. Since 1951, only 50 pieces have been returned to their original owners.

“People who come forward need, for instance, to establish the proof that the artwork belonged to their grandfather,” Allard said. “They need to find old family pictures and payment slips, or gather testimonies. It can take years.”

World War II saw roughly 100,000 pieces of art looted from France by Nazis. About 60,000 pieces were recovered, with most going back to their original owners.

Contact Ari Feldman at or on Twitter @aefeldman




Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.