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The film examines the mechanisms of Nazi extortion during the Second World War, and is interspersed with current issues surrounding restitutions.
It retraces the incredible stories of 3 major works having belonged to Jewish collectors, from their plundering by the Nazis though to their final restitution: Man with a Guitar by Georges Braque (Alphonse Kann collection), Herbstsonne by Egon Schiele (Karl Grunwald collection), and Sitting Woman by Henri Matisse (Paul Rosenberg collection).
During the war, the ERR run by Alfred Rosenberg, Hitler’s art advisor, coordinated thousands of cases of plundering that were carried out all over Europe, and had the spoils delivered to the heart of the 3rd Reich in Berlin. There, the major works were taken to the offices and homes of high-ranking officials and the rest of them were stored in various places. At the end of the war, despite the diligence of organisations focused on their restitution, tens of thousands of works were conjured away. Each time one of them reappeared, unimaginable ownership battles ensued.
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