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Rose Valland in the Musée du Jeu de Paume, 1934

Rose Valland in the Musée du Jeu de Paume, 1934

Valland (1898-1980) was an art historian working in the Jeu de Paume when the Nazis invaded Paris. She continued to work in the museum while the Nazis used it as a storage facility for plundered art. Valland secretly kept detailed records on the works arriving and leaving the facility. Her lists were an invaluable aid in the restitution of more than 20,000 works of art. Thanks to the documentary "The Rape of Europa," her story has been kept alive. In 1961, she published her memoir "Le Front de l'art; défense des collections Françaises, 1934-45." According to www.monumentsfoundation.org, a translation is in the works.

"Thanks to Mlle. Rose Valland, curator of the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris, paintings and objects of art belonging to Jews may soon be recovered by some owners. The Germans had stored them in her museum pending shipment to the Reich. Mlle. Valland delayed the transfer on so many pretexts that a freight train specially ordered had not left when Paris was liberated. She holds a list of the original owners."
— From a 1945 article in the New York Times, "French Protest Restitution Delay" by G.H. Archambault