The eighteenth century masterpiece 'Vaso di Fiori' (Vase of Flowers) by Jan van Huysum was officially returned to the Palazzo Pitti by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Florence on Friday. Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi and Italian Minister of Culture Alberto Bonisoli also took part in the ceremony.

Maas emphasised the importance of maintaining the "strong friendship" between Germany and Italy and said that "this is a great gift, nothing of it is a given and it is important to protect these achievements, also through gestures like this one today."

"Justice has won thanks to the power of art. Together we have been able to give justice to history. We have been able to return this painting to Florence together. It is one of the most important pieces of the eighteenth century," remarked the director of the Uffizi Gallery Eike Schmidt.

Nazi soldiers seized the 'Vaso di Fiori' during their retreat from Florence 75 years ago and brought it back to Germany. The German government has collaborated in the painting's restitution, which was in the possession of a unnamed family.

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