The “Legitimate“ Plundering of Riga’s Apartments. 1944–1949

Dr. art. Jānis Kalnačs’ study looks at what happened to the household items from thousands of homes and apartments left by refugees in late summer and autumn of 1944 (including works of art) recognized by the Soviet authorities as “ownerless property”, as well as attempts to track the fate of artworks and art collections. 

What happened to the apartments of the Rigans at that time and the property left in them has not yet been identified and investigated. Some of the paintings remained in families that suffered less during the Soviet occupation. Many went to commission stores. The pre-war affiliation of certain artworks obtained by the Latvian SSR State Museum of Latvian and Russian Art (now Latvian National Museum of Art) during the first post-war years as well as the conditions of their acquisition cannot be identified with certainty up to the present day.