WWII Era Scholarship and Research of Artwork Restitution

Judy and Peter Kovler have made a generous grant supporting the work of Art Historian Emmanuelle Polack. She is tasked with coordinating the Musée du Louvre’s restitution research on artworks acquired by the museum during the Nazi Occupation from 1940-1944. The Kovlers are longtime donors to the Louvre Endowment.

Acting as a liaison between the Louvre’s curators and external specialists, Polack studies works of art identified as ‘MNR’ or « Musées Nationaux Récupération, » – which were stolen from their rightful owners during the Nazi occupation – and researches their provenance. These artworks are registered in a separate ledger from the museum’s national collections and are held for safekeeping by the Louvre with the hope of their eventual restitution to the heirs of the original owners.

The grant from the Judy and Peter Blum Kovler Foundation will allow the Louvre to employ Juliette Vermersch, who will serve as an assistant to Ms. Pollack for a period of six months. Ms. Vermersch holds a Double master’s degree in art history and law from the Université Paris Panthéon-Assas. Provenance scholarship requires keeping up with the latest relevant publications. The grant will also support the creation of the “Judy and Peter Kovler Archive,” a library, which will make accessible to Polack and her team the growing number of books being published on artworks looted during the Second World War. The Kovlers’ gift enhances the Louvre’s capacity to honor the memory of the Nazi’s victims.