Miriam Cahn Withdraws her Works from the Kunsthaus Zürich

Thursday, December 23, 2021
Miriam Cahn Withdraws her Works from the Kunsthaus Zürich

Miriam Cahn is asking to buy her art back from the collection of Kunsthaus Zurich after the museum hung more than 200 works from the Bührle Collection, which was purchased using money made by selling arms to the Nazis.

Artist Miriam Cahn is asking to buy her art back from the collection of Kunsthaus Zurich after the museum hung more than 200 works from the Bührle Collection, which was purchased using money made by selling arms to the Nazis.

The Jewish artist has offered the original price paid for her works in an open letter condemning the museum’s decision to collaborate with the collection and display it in October. 

Georg Bührle was a businessman who made the majority of his wealth through selling arms to Germany during and following World War II. The Bührle collection has said that none of the works in the show were looted, but some critics still question their provenance.

There have been calls for an independent review into the provenance of works in the Bührle Collection, as well as to establish a federal restitution body. Currently, there is nowhere to refer provenance or restitution claims in Switzerland.

“I … no longer wish to be represented in this Zurich Kunsthaus and would like to withdraw all my works,” Cahn wrote in a letter published in the Jewish newspaper Tachles.

Another reaction, this time in an open letter to Mayor Corine Mauch, was written by Guy Bollag, son of a Zurich gallery owner known far beyond Switzerland, as the spokesman for a group of like-minded Jewish colleagues. This group was also supported by the tachles reporting (Dossier «Cause Bührle»On tachles online) about the Bührle media conference. You criticize the mayor's silence about the historically false and anti-Semitic statements that were made there and feel abandoned as Jewish families who had to endure a lot of suffering in Switzerland during the Second World War. On behalf of his group, Bollag calls on the city president to hold those responsible for the Kunsthaus and the Bührle Collection and Foundation accountable and to take action. The text says:

“This open letter is addressed to you, Ms. Mauch, because we experience your silence as elected mayor and politically responsible for the city of Zurich in the Bührle-Kunsthaus case as deafening and unbearable. We get to you as Jewish people, as descendants of families who suffered a lot from the Holocaust and anti-Semitic official acts in Switzerland at the time. We feel slapped and abandoned by the urban silence to the uncontested atrocities of Mr. Jolles. " For months, the Kunsthaus Zürich, Kunsthausgesellschaft, the EG Bührle Collection and the City Government of Zurich refused to open the archives requested and thereby allow independent research on the Bührle Collection and, after worldwide criticism, attempted a liberation at last week's press conference, which was unanimously criticized in national and international media would.We feel slapped and abandoned by the urban silence to the uncontested atrocities of Mr. Jolles. "

Bührle and the city government of Zurich to open the archives requested and thereby allow independent research on the Bührle Collection and, after worldwide criticism, attempted a liberation at last week's press conference, which was heavily criticized in national and international media in unison.Bührle and the city government of Zurich to open the archives requested and thereby allow independent research on the Bührle Collection and, after worldwide criticism, attempted a liberation at last week's press conference, which was heavily criticized in national and international media in unison.

 

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