Homeland Security Investigations returns School of Rubens to Germany
July 26, 2012
Sanssouci means “without a care.” Museums are rarely that, particularly those with missing art works. The Potsdam Sanssouci Museum had art work stolen during World War II. One of these missing pieces was consigned for sale to an auction house in 2010.
Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Los Angeles learned of the consignment and traced the painting back to a California-based family.
The story of the painting according to the consignors imitates the trajectory of the war. It was allegedly taken by a Russian general who presented it to a daughter of some Soviet official, who later sold it to the family in LA in the 1970s. Ultimately, the consignor agreed to return the painting, which at one point belonged to Frederick the Great of Prussia, to Germany.