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Nazi Art, and Boston Museums

Posted by Geoff Edgers  July 25, 2006 05:28 PM
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The Museum of Fine Arts, Harvard University Art Museums and MIT's List Visual Art Center were among 332 museums that responded to a survey by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which works to return property looted by the Nazis to the rightful owners. The results - and the individual responses from the museums - can be found here.

One Boston-area museum didn't respond to the Claims Conference: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Why not? Gardner spokeswoman Cathy Deely noted that the survey focused on works created before 1946, and acquired after 1932. The Gardner stopped collecting in 1924.

Still, that wasn't good enough for Gideon Taylor, the executive vice president of the Claims Conference.

"A number of museums responded by saying that they did not have relevant items," he wrote. "It is certainly helpful for the public to know if they have no "covered objects."

Deely didn't agree.

"I think if he'd have known anything about the Gardner Musuem he'd have known that Mrs. Gardner's colletion stopped in 1924. It's fairly common knowledge."

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About Exhibitionist Geoff Edgers covers arts news for The Boston Globe..
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