The heirs of Frédéric Gentili di Giuseppe who died in Paris in 1940 and whose children fled the French capital after the invasion of France by German troops have claimed back five Italian paintings now exhibited in the Louvre, it was learned on February 25th 1998.
The paintings belonged to Mr di Giuseppe and were sold by an administrator of his succession in 1941 in order to recover a debt of 90 000 FF (US $ 22 500 of today).
The heirs said the sale was illegal for the reason that they had not been approached at the time and that the provisional administrator overrode his commission since the paintings were sold for 4,5 million francs (US $ 675,000 of today) whereas Mr Gentili di Giuseppe had 730,000 FF (US $ 180,000 of today) in his bank account the day he died. His daughter Adriana tried in vain to get the paintings back in 1950 despite the fact that she had been the victim of a true spoliation.
Nevertheless her heirs are now confident they will obtain the return of these paintings by Giambattista Tiepolo ( Alexander and Campaspe visiting Apelle, at one time in the possession of marshal Goering), by Moretto Da Brescia (Visitation), Bernardo Strozzi (the Holy Family), Alessandro Magnasco ( Card players before a fire place) and Rosalba Carriera (Portrait of a Woman) now all in the Louvre Museum. Another painting of Tiepolo, sold to the Cailleux gallery during the war, was located in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.