THE National Library of Wales is under fire after accepting an art donation looted from Second World War France by the Nazis.
The painting of the Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies by Von Klomp was donated to the institution by Louis Feutren, a leading member of Breton groups who worked with the Nazis after their invasion of France.
After he died in Ireland in 2010, he bequeathed the painting, valued at £300,000 to the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.
The French resistance’s attempts to save the painting from the clutches of the Nazis featured in the BBC’s World War II drama, ‘Allo ‘Allo! but not even that has saved it from the condemnation of the Welsh Labour Party.
The Welsh Government’s heritage minister Huw Lewis has criticised the library for accepting the donation from Feutren, who was a member of the Gwenn-ha-Du and Bezen Perrot movements during the Second World War.
After the war Feutren fled France for Ireland, and travelled through Wales with the valuable painting concealed in Knockwurst sausages.
Mr Lewis stated: “Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once. What-a mistake-a to make-a! Nobody likes fascists or their art. When I go to the National Library I want to read books about the Labour movement in industrial South Wales not stare at a painting by some French bloke who had some passing acquaintance with the Nazis like 100 years ago. Can you do nothing right?”
But the Library has insisted it had no choice but to accept the painting as it had been received in accordance with the Royal Charter and the Library’s collection policy, which identify the need to collect, and ensure public access to, material of Celtic interest.
Library president, Lord Dafydd Wigley said: “You may wonder what I am doing….but you’d think we were stupid if we turned down a donation worth £300,000.”