Montreal University Announces the Return of an Important French Painting Lo
Submitted to: Art 
Posted: October 19 2006


19 October 2006 ( - Concordia University in Montreal (Quebec/Canada) - acting on behalf of the executors of the Estate of Dr. Max Stern and its three university beneficiaries (Concordia, McGill University/Montreal, Hebrew University/Jerusalem) - is pleased to announce the return of the first painting from the hundreds forced out of the German-Jewish art dealer's hands at the infamous sale that took place at Lempertz Auction House in Cologne in 1937. Aimee, a Young Egyptian (1869) by renowned French historical painter, Emile Lecomte-Vernet (1821-1900), was unveiled at a press conference on Thursday, October 19th at 1:00pm at Concordia's FOFA Gallery.

The New York State Banking Department's Holocaust Claims Processing Office (HCPO) has been pursuing an art restitution claim of more than 200 paintings on behalf of the estate, including the Orientalist portrait of Aimee - a sensuous Egyptian dancer gazing down at her finger cymbals. Sotheby's also played an instrumental role in securing this particular picture's return.

Given how Max Stern left the majority of his assets to charitable causes serving the public, the executors and university beneficiaries have agreed to place the painting on loan to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). About forty Stern works have resurfaced on art databases in the last decades and are starting to be pinpointed across the world including in museums in Germany, Holland, Spain and Taiwan.

The return of the Lecomte-Vernet arrives at an auspicious moment; just in time for the Montreal launch of Auktion 392: Reclaiming the Galerie Stern, Düsseldorf. This exhibit and publication, originating at Concordia's FOFA Gallery, is co-sponsored by Christie's and Sotheby's and will travel to venues in North America, Europe and Israel to sensitize the public to the Stern Project and to resolving the injustices caused by Nazi policies.

As one of the fastest growing universities in Canada, more than 43,500 students from 157 different countries attend Concordia each year. The university offers more than 500 undergraduate and graduate degree programs within four faculties: Arts and Science, Engineering and Computer Science, Fine Arts and the John Molson School of Business.

Illustration of "Aimee, a Young Egyptian" (1869) by Emile Lecomte-Vernet (

Max Stern Art Restitution Project (

AUKTION 392: Reclaiming the Galerie Stern, Düsseldorf (

For information contact: Tanya Churchmuch, Senior Media Relations Advisor, Concordia University, +1-514-848-2424 ex.2518, cell: +1-514-518-3336,


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    Tanya Churchmuch
    Concordia University
    +1 514 848 2424  

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