The Occupation was the era of the black market and shortages. But the auction rooms, they were at full speed. The Mémorial de la Shoah, in Paris, presents a didactic exposition on the intense activity of the art market between 1940 and 1944. The spaces of the Memorial is rather forced, not everything is covered on this subject. But the visitor will leave with a few strong ideas: the period was cloudy and greedy, and recela behaviour despicable.

“The economy is deranged. Merchants, auctioneers, brokers, intermediaries and buyers agree to allocate this influx of goods”

Emmanuelle Polack, curator of the exhibition

from the summer of 1941, the authorities confiscated real estate, financial, and works of art from the Jews. Their accounts are blocked, their businesses, art galleries included, are “aryanisées”. The exhibition recalls some of the great names of the merchants taken in the nets of this policy thereof: confiscatory: Paul Rosenberg, who was forced to flee to the United States, Berthe Weill, découvreuse artists, René Gimpel, who died at the camp of Neuengamme (Germany) in January 1945, or, again, Pierre Loeb, who fled to Cuba.

While it is forbidden to …

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