A Nazi legacy haunts a museum’s new galleries

A Nazi legacy haunts a museum’s new galleries

With the opening of an imposing extension on Saturday, the Zurich Kunsthaus became Switzerland’s largest art museum. The vast new cube designed by the British architect David Chipperfield, opposite the original building on a central square, more than doubles the museum’s exhibition space. An airy atrium leads to a newly installed garden, and marble staircases take visitors to spacious galleries bathed in filtered daylight. On the second floor, they can admire masterpieces by Monet, Cézanne, Gauguin, van Gogh and Degas. These works once belonged to Emil Georg Bührle, a Swiss industrialist who died in 1956 but whose dark legacy haunted the opening of the new $220-million extension. Although it has long been known that Bührle made his fortune by selling arms to Nazi Germany, and that he bought art that was looted by the regime, new revelations keep emerging. In August, a Swiss magazine, Beobachter, reported that Bührle employed hundreds of girls and young women from troubled bac
With the opening of an imposing extension on Saturday, the Zurich Kunsthaus became Switzerland’s largest art museum. The vast new cube designed by the British architect David Chipperfield, opposite the original building on a central square, more than doubles the museum’s exhibition space. An airy atrium leads to a newly installed garden, and marble staircases take visitors to spacious galleries bathed in filtered daylight. On the second floor, they can admire masterpieces by Monet, Cézanne, Gauguin, van Gogh and Degas. These works once belonged to Emil Georg Bührle, a Swiss industrialist who died in 1956 but whose dark legacy haunted the opening of the new $220-million extension. Although it has long been known that Bührle made his fortune by selling arms to Nazi Germany, and that he bought art that was looted by the regime, new revelations keep emerging. In August, a Swiss magazine, Beobachter, reported that Bührle employed hundreds of girls and young women from troubled bac