Steve Shadley, Capital Public Radio
Three oil paintings belonging to the Oppenheimer Family stolen by Nazi soldiers in 1935 were found on display at California's Hearst Castle.
The State Parks Department is returning three ancient oil paintings stolen by the Nazis to the heirs of a Jewish family.
For the past few decades, the artwork has been on display at the Hearst Castle Museum in San Simeon. Officials say the Hearsts didn’t know they were taken from the Oppenheimer family in 1935.
At a ceremony in Sacramento today (Friday, 4.10), Governor Schwarzenegger said returning the artwork helps heal the wounds of the Holocaust…
“This theft of Jewish property was an early stage of the Nazi plan and the beginning of far greater offenses against the innocent and against humanity…”
Grandson of the Oppenheimers, Peter Bloch (Block) says he’s hopeful California’s gesture will encourage others to return artwork stolen by the Nazis…
“We are deeply grateful for the state to recognize the justice of this act. And (we) only hope that other states would follow suit in this endeavor and with this acknowledgement I gladly accept the turning over of these paintings to the rightful owners…”
The paintings date to the 15th and 16th centuries. One of them depicts Venus and Cupid.