Mondex Corporation (Toronto, Canada) together with its attorney Mr Giuseppe Calabi (CBM & Partners Studio Legale, Milan, Italy) and the Carabinieri Police (Rome, Italy), in cooperation of the Gallo Fine Art (Milan, Italy) with its attorney Mr Emanuele Tessari (SLCD, Padua, Italy), have arranged for the restitution of the Italian Master 17th century painting, Lot and his daughters, to the family of René Moise [Renatus Moses] Bloch (1884-1942), a timber merchant, and his wife Suzanne Bloch née Haas (1894-1985); both were Jewish and lived in Strasbourg, Alsace. The painting was originally attributed to Nicolas Poussin (Les Andelys 1594 – Rome 1665) but it is now confirmed to be by Alessandro Turchi (1578 – January 22, 1649).

The looting took place in Poitiers, France within the framework of the so-called M-Aktion (Möbel-Aktion) – an organized general looting operation in which all items from empty Jewish apartments in Paris and other regions were taken to several work camps where they were sorted, repaired, and mostly sent on to Germany.  The paintings of the BLOCH family, including the said painting were most likely looted between February and August 1944 after Emile BLOCH and his family – all of them Jewish – had been arrested on January 31, 1944.

In 1947, the family asked for the inclusion of the looted painting in the Répertoire des biens spoliés en France durant la guerre 1939-1945 (List of property removed from France during the war 1939-1945).

The Bloch family requested the help of Mondex to search for and locate the painting and prove the family’s entitlement to it.  Mondex located the painting at the TEFAF art fair in Maastricht, Netherlands and worked closely with the Carabinieri Police and with the help of its attorney Mr Giuseppe Calabi and with the cooperation of the Gallo Fine Art, was able to arrange for the restitution of this painting.

The painting was bought from the last owner on the international market. When Gallo Fine Art, always sensitive to the problem of stolen artworks, learned that the painting had been stolen from the Bloch family, it immediately collaborated, along with its lawyer Tessari, with the Bloch family to settle the wrong they suffered by the Nazis.

James Palmer, the founder of Mondex Corporation said that “The restitution of cultural property looted during the Second World War is important for moral, legal and emotional reasons.  The closure that the family can enjoy is a blessing and the cooperation demonstrated by the gallery to return the painting is an important gesture, for so many reasons.  The family is grateful to the gallery, its attorney and to the Carabinieri Police.”

For further information please contact:

James Palmer, Mondex Corporation.  Email: +1 416 972 1877

Giuseppe Calabi, CBM & Partners.  Email: +39 02 76022178

Emanuele Tessari, SLCD Email:  +39 049 987 5740