A Renoir masterpiece stolen by the Nazis in World War II is back in the hands of the Jewish family who owned it.
Sylvie Sulitzer, granddaughter of the original owner, received the painting, “Two Women in a Garden,” at a ceremony Wednesday at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.
“I’m very thankful to be able to show my beloved family, wherever they are, that after all they’ve been thorough, there is a justice,” Sulitzer said.
“Two Women in a Garden” was among the last works Renoir painted before he died in 1919.
Sulitzer’s grandfather, famed art collector Alfred Weinberger, stashed the painting with the rest of his collection in a Paris bank vault before fleeing the Nazis, who occupied Paris in 1940.
Weinberger tried but failed to recover his collection after the war.
The Renoir painting was bought and sold several times over the next 70 years, traveling to South Africa, Switzerland and London before finally being put up for auction in New York in 2013.
Christie’s Auction House suspected the work may have been stolen by the Nazis and contacted the FBI, who contacted Sulitzer in France.
She has told the French News Agency that five other works from her grandfather’s collection still need to be recovered. They include four other Renoirs.
“We’ll never forget. We can’t forget. But it’s very important that we, me as a human being, as a Jewish person, to consider that you have people who work for justice,” she said.