The Louvre in Paris last week announced that it had digitized its entire museum collection of artwork, a collection that is close to a staggering half a million pieces.
While trying to navigate and enjoy the entire collection could be daunting, they did break it down into different ‘albums’ such as Masterpieces, Historical Events, and Kings, Queens and Emperors, to name a few.
To me, the album that is most interesting is the National Museums Recovery, which highlights stolen or hidden artwork from World War II that has been recovered by the museum.
After World War II, 61,000 works of art were retrieved in Germany and brought back to France. Many had been stolen from Jewish families. To date, more than 45,000 have been returned to their rightful owners. Unclaimed works were sold by the French State, with the exception of 2,143 objects placed under the legal responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and entrusted to French national museums for safekeeping. These works are not the property of the State. The Musée du Louvre, is committed to carrying out research to find their rightful owners or beneficiaries.Louvre
The piece above, The Roman Forum (Vue du Forum à Rome) by Giovanni Panini is one piece from this album/collection and I found it really striking. It is really neat to see the other works that have been recovered in this collection. It also serves as a reminder of what was stolen from broader society during the time of World War II.