List of artworks with contested provenance

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Throughout the world, there are many works of art that have a contested provenance. This may be due to theft, lost documentation, looting, or just information lost to antiquity. In some cases, just the previous or current ownership of the work is disputed, but in other cases the authenticity of the work itself may be thought to be a forgery.[1][2] During World War II, Nazis stole many works of art from Jewish families, or looted them from cities in the war. [3][4][5]

Cleveland Museum of Art - Apollo Sauroktonos by Praxiteles[edit]

The Cleveland Museum of Art purchased a bronze sculpture of Apollo Sauroktonos, which some believe to be the only bronze in existence from the original Greek artist Praxiteles. However, the work has an incomplete provenance, and some claim it is a later Roman copy.[6][7]

Louvre - Bronze Monkeys[edit]

Recently there has been debate within the antiques industry regarding a bronze monkey held in the Louvre initially believed to be the work of famous sculptor Giambologna. However, following the finding of two other bronze monkeys by British antique dealer Colin Wilson, the validity of the monkeys held in the Louvre, claimed by 'experts' to be the real work of Giambologna, has been called into question. The Louvre monkey is simply too deep to fit the niche in which it was supposedly situated on the fountain it was originally designed and created for. The quality of the monkey in the Louvre is also up for debate; the form is not lifelike, the fur is not realistic and the pose does not match the poses of the monkeys in the Uffizi drawing, which after all, is the only evidence for the monkeys being in the niches. Colin Wilson's monkeys, however, do match this drawing, are made of a gunmetal dated to the 16th/17th century, are unrefined and of a high lead content, all of which are traits of a work of Giambologna. The debate continues to this day. These monkeys are soon to be sold at auction (30 July 2008[dated info]) and a third has just been discovered, to be sold in the same sale.

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