Giving Sight to the Blind - DatelineCarolina

Columbia Artist Re-creates painting for Blind Man

The re-created painting done by Christian Thee The re-created painting done by Christian Thee

By Seth Wilson

During World War II, the Nazis stole artwork from Jewish families that is worth millions.

David Toren is a retired lawyer from New York City who is attempting to reclaim one of the pieces his family lost many years ago. The painting is called "Two Riders on the Beach," originally done by Max Liebermann in the 1920s.

The German government uncovered a stash of paintings in a Munich apartment last year, and Toren was one of the first to put in a claim. Toren hopes to get the painting back, even though he can't see it.

David Toren is blind after a case of the shingles and wont be able to see the painting.

After hearing Toren's story, Columbia artist Christian Thee decided to help.

Thee has recreated the painting and made it in such a way that he can feel and "experience" the image.

"I was trying to figure out a way that I could help this man see his recovered painting and I thought if he could feel what it looked like that might be one way of doing it," said Thee.

Thee had to construct the painting in layers and raise edges and create surfaces. The whole process took about a month to complete.

"It was a fun project to do, an interesting project to do, worthwhile project to do; and it's always nice to be able to do something for someone else when it fills a need," said Thee.

The painting will be sent to Toren in New York City on Thursday. Although Thee will not be making the trip with his painting, he does hope to meet Toren in person one day.

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