biens , art en fuite

Wodwo

Senior Member
UK English
These are terms used in Switzerland to refer to artworks owned by Jewish people in Nazi-run countries prior to and during the Second World War, which were sent to neutral countries to avoid their being looted or otherwise appropriated.

I'm looking for an English equivalent to this term, without much success. I am hoping there is one that has some international recognition. Otherwise I'm thinking of something like "evacuated artworks", though I'm not very keen on that.

Help appreciated.
 
  • sevriv2001

    Senior Member
    french - france
    after some google research the term that seems to be used is what you mention : "evacuated art"
    But maybe someone else will find a better term!
     

    Wodwo

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Thanks both.

    So far no official translations then...

    I rather like "exiled art".
    I worry about "evacuated art" as it seems to be used to refer to art that was evacuated, say from London to a museum in the country. It's a term most commonly applied to children who were sent out of the big cities during the war, so the Swiss term would be referring to a rather different process.

    I'm wondering whether I shouldn't simply stick as closely as possible to the Swiss term and go for "fugitive art", though "en fuite" has less agency about it than "fugitive" I feel. Originally I just had "art in flight", but I don't think that will work at all.
     

    sevriv2001

    Senior Member
    french - france
    Exiled art or arts in exile sounds pretty good to me.
    On the Swiss info website: The “exile” of one of Switzerland’s most important private collections of classic modern art has ended with its return to its original home in Basel.
     

    Phil512

    Senior Member
    Français - Belgique
    I am hoping there is one that has some international recognition

    Well, my Google search gave me loads of references quoting : Stolen Art. Which makes sense and obviously indicates an international recognition !
    "Stolen Jewish Art" if you prefer.
     

    sevriv2001

    Senior Member
    french - france
    Well, my Google search gave me loads of references quoting : Stolen Art. Which makes sense and obviously indicates an international recognition !
    "Stolen Jewish Art" if you prefer.

    but stolen art doesn't necessarily mean it was put in a safe place?
     

    Phil512

    Senior Member
    Français - Belgique
    Yes, I now realize my misunderstanding. I was way too fast. Other offered suggestions are better, indeed, and mine is not valid.
    Thanks sevriv2001 for putting me back on the tracks :).

    If one wants to make it short, I must say I like your previous suggestions.
    Some other (and longer) ideas for possible inspiration. Playing with other contributors's ideas as well. Or taking them over :
    - Expatriate Art(works) ???
    - Evaded Art
    - Artworks on the run
    - Expatriate At(works) in/to safe place

    - Fugitive Artworks (Wodwo)
    - Secured fugitive Artworks
    - Protected fugitive Artworks
    - Evacuated and secured Art(works)
    - Art protected after evacuation
    - Art evacuated to a safe place
    - Secured evacuated Art.

    Hope this sounds better.
     
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    Reynald

    Senior Member
    français - France
    Pourtant, si l'on en croit le site de la RTS, l'expression "art en fuite" ne correspond pas à "evacuated artworks". Les œuvres d'art évacuées (evacuated artworks) étaient bien mises à l'abri (des bombardements et du pillage par les nazis) pour pouvoir ensuite être replacées dans leurs musées d'origine ou rendues à leurs propriétaires. Tandis que si les oeuvres d'art "en fuite" étaient expédiées hors de leur pays d'origine, c'était apparemment pour faire l'objet d'appropriations illégales ou de trafics.
    La Suisse a fait office de "plaque tournante" pour la vente et le transfert d'oeuvres d'art pillées par le régime nazi.
    On parlait par exemple de biens "en fuite", pour désigner des oeuvres transférées, notamment en Suisse, afin que les propriétaires légitimes ne les récupèrent pas.
     
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    Phil512

    Senior Member
    Français - Belgique
    Bonjour Reynald,
    Belle recherche ! Est-ce que je comprends mal ou vos citations sont en contradiction directe avec l'hypothèse de départ ??? Pardonnez-moi tous si j'ai mal compris, svp.
    These are terms used in Switzerland to refer to artworks owned by Jewish people in Nazi-run countries prior to and during the Second World War, which were sent to neutral countries to avoid their being looted or otherwise appropriated.
     

    Reynald

    Senior Member
    français - France
    Bonjour Phil,
    En effet, et je crois que Wodwo fait peut-être erreur (si le sens indiqué dans la citation suisse est exact, bien sûr. Je le découvre aussi). Mais il avait lui-même des doutes.

    Ajout : J'ai cherché quelques précisions supplémentaires. Sur ce site (fiable) : OFC - Office fédéral de la culture -L'art spolié (glossaire, colonne de droite), on apprend que l'expression n'est pas officielle et que son emploi peut varier. A la lecture du glossaire, on voit qu'elle est employée ici pour les biens spoliés expédiés en Suisse ou ailleurs. Et on peut donc distinguer :

    - les oeuvres d'art "évacuées", qui sont celles qui ont été déménagées et mises à l'abri par les grands musées avant que les nazis puissent s'en emparer (opérations racontées sur les sites de ces grands musées français, anglais, russes...).

    - les oeuvres "en fuite" (ou "biens en fuite"), celles qui ont été pillées par les nazis entre 1933 et 1945 (confisquées ou faussement achetées), puis envoyées par leurs nouveaux "propriétaires" en Suisse ou dans d'autres pays non occupés où elles pouvaient être revendues, conservées par ces nouveaux "propriétaires" ou attribuées à des musées ; le lien avec leur propriétaire légitime étant rompu.

    On ne peut donc pas traduire "oeuvres / biens en fuite" par "evacuated artworks". Ou peut-être en ajoutant un qualificatif ? Ou bien par "despoiled artworks" ?
     
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    Wodwo

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I have to translate what I am given, so my context was this:

    Outre ces biens confisqués, circulent à cette époque des œuvres qui sont envoyées par leur propriétaire hors des zones contrôlées par le IIIe Reich, notamment en Suisse, dans le but de les mettre à l’abri. On appelle aujourd’hui ces œuvres « biens en fuite ».

    It seems that some of these artworks were subsequently sold on rather than directly recovered by or returned to their legitimate owners after the war, but as I understand it, "art en fuite" was not directly taken by the Nazis, whereas "art despolié" was. The latter is generally referred to as "looted" art. "Despoiled" means something different in English.

    So "art en fuite" is not directly "looted art", nor is it exactly "stolen". It's art that was sent somewhere for protection and subsequently "went missing". I think "en fuite" suggests a leak and I'd be tempted to call it "escaped art", as in art that has escaped efforts to trace it, but that's a little too weird for me to be able to impose comfortably without precedent in English.
     

    Phil512

    Senior Member
    Français - Belgique
    I'd be tempted to call it "escaped art"
    You're too humble : escaped art, yes !
    Otherwise, there is a reserve of proposals above, including evaded art, very close to your very good idea.
     
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    Wodwo

    Senior Member
    UK English
    You're too humble.

    You're too kind... The problem with both "evaded" and "escaped" (though more with the former than the latter in my view) is that they just don't sound right in English.

    To "evade" is a transitive verb. You have to evade something. So "evaded art" would be art that has been evaded, though I don't think it's something anyone would actually say.

    "Escaped" isn't used as an adjective. You can say something "has escaped" but not that it "is escaped".

    "Displaced" is a far more viable verb in terms of sounding plausible in this construction. At first I found it a bit odd, but actually I think it pretty much sums up the situation. Thanks!
     

    Phil512

    Senior Member
    Français - Belgique
    Yes, it sounds great to me as well ! I like it too.

    Just for the record and for what it's worth (so not making a point of it;)) the free dictionary states that "evade" can be intransitive at times (twice at least), especially to mean "escape" ("practice evasion", among other cases). But Oxford and Cambridge don't. And you are the native speaker. So...;););)
    evade
    v.i.
    6. to practice evasion.
    7. to elude or get away by craft or slyness; escape.
     
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    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    Evacuated art is the term that makes the most sense to my English-speaking ear.

    Evaded suggests the art itself has the agency to do this, so it sounds odd to me.
     

    Phil512

    Senior Member
    Français - Belgique
    Hi wildan,
    I have taken good note of that (and certainly believe you).
    Sevriv2001 has indeed suggested "evacuated" for the first time earlier in this thread (as you have seen, I am sure:)). Such a good word that I had adopted it in my list of more or less valid suggestions (with "secured" added to it).

    Hi Cath.
    Impressive, indeed ! :thumbsup:
     
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    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    Yes, I did see the earlier suggestion of evacuated--my post was meant to reinforce its validity.

    Salvaged
    describes the art only once it is safely recovered, I think. (récupéré, sauvé)
     

    Reynald

    Senior Member
    français - France
    Autre traduction peut-être possible d'après ces textes (?) :
    Switzerland was a trade centre for looted assets and flight assets from Nazi Germany and the occupied territories
    Independent Experts Commission
    BBC News | EUROPE | Swiss come clean on Nazi dealings

    Swiss museums have traditionally rejected claims for what they term fluchtgut (flight assets)—art sold by Jewish refugees to fund their escape or to start new lives after losing the rest of their possessions, their homes and their livelihoods under the Nazis.
    http://theartnewspaper.com/news/swiss-under-pressure-over-art-that-jews-were-forced-to-sell/
     

    Phil512

    Senior Member
    Français - Belgique
    Hello Reynald,
    Another great contribution of yours, if I may say so. And If "flight assets" has gained international recognition (???), then Wodwo is likely to have found his Holy Grail. But is it the case ???
    As e.g. "flight" (various possible translations) has then to be understood by everyone as meaning "escape"/"fuite" in this context and not "trip in an airplane".
    To my knowledge, the problem does not exist in the original Swiss versions : "Flucht" (not "Flug" !!!)/"fuite".

    Finally that concept of "being sold under pressure to ensure one's escape" (first appearance in this thread if I am not mistaken) seems to me to be another thing then "evacuated to a safer place". Well, well ...
     
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    Reynald

    Senior Member
    français - France
    Finally that concept of "being sold under pressure to ensure one's escape" (first appearance in this thread if I am not mistaken) seems to me another thing then "evacuated to a safer place". Well, well ...
    Yes, the sense of this expression seems pretty broad. It seems to include different cases.
    (I had never come across "biens en fuite" before. Only "œuvres d'art évacuées" about museums or private owners, or "biens spoliés" about confiscated goods).
     
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