matisse 88 248.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Finally, justice for Henri Matisse's Le Mur Rose. The oil painting, which was stolen from a rich German Jewish family sometime after 1937 and kept by a Nazi officer responsible for delivering poison gas to Auschwitz, is to be given Thursday to Magen David Adom UK.
The story of how Le Mur Rose, or The Pink Wall, made its way through the war to France is as surprising as the colorful painting itself, and steeped with death, mystery and injustice.
"It's a remarkable and in some ways slightly creepy story," said Stuart Glyn, chairman of Magen David Adom UK. He will take delivery of the artwork at the French Culture Ministry in Paris.
The painting originally belonged to Harry Fuld, a German Jew, and he left it to his son. When Harry Fuld Jr. died in 1963, he willed his estate to Gisela Martin, a woman who has remained something of a mystery in the saga. She in turn left her estate to a British charity when she died in Switzerland in 1992, which explains why Magen David Adom UK is now getting the Matisse.
The Matisse is worth a "a good six-figure sum," but will first be displayed in a museum, said Glyn. He said he was in discussions with museums in Germany and Israel.