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Re-purchase of Kirchner etching following restitution


The Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz – the body overseeing the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – has returned nine artworks to the heirs of the Jewish entrepreneur and collector, Eugen Moritz Buchthal. One etching by E.L. Kirchner has been re-purchased for the Kupferstichkabinett.

In a statement, Lothar Fremy, the lawyer representing the heirs, said: “Once again, the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz has demonstrated how mutual and respectful cooperation can result in a fair solution in cases of this type. The Buchthal heirs are very grateful to the Stiftung for their responsible approach to a difficult issue which sees many cases still unresolved today.”

Eugen Moritz Buchthal (1878–1954) was an enthusiastic collector of contemporary art. As Jews, he and his family were persecuted by the National Socialists and successively emigrated to London in the years 1934 to 1938. In 1936 Buchthal consigned numerous graphic works from his collection to the Nierendorf Gallery in Berlin, some of which were acquired by the Kupferstichkabinett. These have now been returned.

The Stiftung has bought back the etching "Houses on Fehmarn with Large Tree" (1908) by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner for the Staatliche Museen’s Kupferstichkabinett.