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Albert Sancholle Henraux ( 1881-1953 )

Albert Sancholle Henraux was one of the most influential figures in French culture of the twentieth century. Born in Seravezza, Italy on June 12, 1881, his family returned to France in time for him to attend École des Langues Orientales Vivantes (School of Oriental Languages). Following service in the French Army during World War I, Henraux began a career in museums which included appointments as President of the Arts Council of National Museums, President of the Friends of the Louvre, Vice President of the Central Union of Decorative Arts, and Vice President of the Technical Board for the Museums of France.

In November 1944 Henraux was elected President of the Commission de Récupération Artistique (French Commission for Art Recovery), the group most responsible for investigating works of art stolen from France by the Nazis. As part of his duties, Henraux oversaw the activities of the French Restitution Officers working tirelessly in Germany to locate, identify, and arrange transport back to France, tens of thousands of French-owned art objects. Henraux and the Commission selected some of France’s most motivated art scholars and curators for this task, including Monuments Officers Capt. Rose Valland and Capt. Hubert de Brye. Henraux then served as Director of the Art Receiving Collecting Point at the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris, the processing center for all restituted objects returned from MFAA collecting points in Germany.

Henraux served as President of the Commission until June 1946. In the following years before his death in 1953, Henraux became curator of the Musée Condé in Chantilly and Chairman of the Arts Council of National Museums.

The Foundation is very interested in learning more about Albert Henraux’s life, as well as his work as a Monuments Man. If you have any information, please contact abottinelli@monumentsmenfoundation.org.