Monet’s “Bord de Mer” requisitioned due to Nazi trafficking

Monet’s “Bord de Mer” requisitioned due to Nazi trafficking
Bord de Mer by Money; courtesy of Artsy.
Marketplace  -   Trafficking

The past few years have been no stranger to the displacement of people and art, works often finding their way into the hands of authorities either through means of protection or the attempted trafficking of works. We’ve even seen historical instances of seizures being rectified, often in the context of ill-gotten museum goods. With the knowledge of how many works still exist in such a state, it’s no surprise to see the Nazi-looted Monet Bord de Mer making its way back into proper hands.


Bord de Mer is a small and simple shoreline in pastels, a nonchalant landscape of teal and peach tones. Altogether not the most striking of the artist’s work, but his style is still evident. And of course, a Monet is a Monet. Once belonging to Adalbert and Hilda Parlagi, when they fled Austria from the encroaching force of the Nazis, they left the painting in a Viennese warehouse with the intent to retrieve it after the war. But of course, this property was seized in 1940 and the works within were subsequently trafficked.


The work came into FBI possession recently by way of its last purchasers, Bridget Vita and her late husband Kevin Schlamp. A lawsuit has been filed with U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana with indications of the Parlagis descendants Françoise Parlagi and Helen Lowe being the rightful heirs to the work.


Despite the court not having decided yet, Bord de Mer appears to be one of the less volatile cases of requisition. As the matter of rightful ownership becomes settled, it’s always important to remember just how much of the offerings in our beloved galleries and museums, oft unwittingly, end up there by virtue of darker means.