Sequestered by the French State as an "enemy asset" in 1944, Kojiro Matsukata’s collection was used as a national showcase through exhibitions until 1958. Few catalogues were transparent as to the works’ provenance from the collection. When we map and visualize this historical information, a significant contrast appears between the “real” circulation of artworks, as recorded in governmental archives, and the "official" circulation listed in catalogues. This discrepancy points to a propaganda effort in such a way as to bolster an artistic narrative that was key to French national pride, and studying it can further explain why the French decided to retain certain artworks for their own public collections and to “gift” the others back to Japan.



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