Viel Kritik an Umgang mit NS-Raubkunst - Much criticism on the handling of Nazi-looted art
Deutschland Kultur und Radio 29 November 2015
click for story
Quebec police joins search for Nazi-looted Stern art
Canadian Jewish News 26 November 2015
click for story
Balky Bavarians: US Congress Demands Action on Nazi Looted Art
Spiegel 26 November 2015
click for story
Task force investigating art trove inherited from Nazi collector achieved 'embarrassing' results
Deutsche Welle 26 November 2015
click for story
Fünftes Raubkunst-Bild in Sammlung Gurlitt kurz vor Identifizierung - Fifth Looted Painting identified in Gurlitt Collection
Die Welt 25 November 2015
click for story
Die Blamage - The Disgrace
Sueddeutschezeitung 25 November 2015
click for story
Estate Sues Nahmad Gallery Network for Modigliani Portrait
New York Times 24 November 2015
click for story
The Painting That Saved My Family From the Holocaust
Pro Publica 24 November 2015
click for story
German culture foundation angers Jewish groups over Holocaust dating
The Art Newspaper 23 November 2015
click for story
For sale, an £8m haul looted by the Nazis
Evening Standard 23 November 2015
click for story
Family threaten London's National Gallery with legal action over Matisse painting
Observer 22 November 2015
click for story
Nazi art: ‘Bern can be an example for the world'
Swiss Info 21 November 2015
click for story
Nazi looted Houdon bust returns to Poland
Antiques Trade Gazette 20 November 2015
click for story
Ausstellung in Berlin: Warum Hitler Gemälde gestohlen hat – und unter einem verborgen war - Exhibition in Berlin: Why Hitler stole paintings and why this was hidden
Deutsche Welle 20 November 2015
click for story
US lawmakers call on Bayern looted art
OR-Politics 19 November 2015
click for story
Nazi Art Case Tests Start Date Of Shoah
The Jewish Week 19 November 2015
click for story
Restitue une oeuvre d'art spoliée par les nazis pendant la guerre
Belga 18 November 2015
click for story
The Art Of The Steal
The Jewish Week 18 November 2015
click for story
Judge blocks sale of paintings allegedly owned by Nazi victim
New York Daily News 18 November 2015
click for story
MoMA to return Nazi-looted painting to heirs of German-Jewish art collector
JTA 18 November 2015
click for story

Websites and Resources

Dutch Museums Provenance Research
Results of 'Museum Acquisitions from 1933' project showing 41 Dutch museums are in possession of at least 139 items with 'problematic' origins.
click to visit
Swiss Looted Art Portal
Opened in June 2013, this government-run site provides details of museums' provenance research, advice on making enquiries, research and claims and links to relevant databases and archives in Switzerland and beyond.
click to visit
WGA-Files - Akten der Wieder- gutmachungsämter von Berlin - Case Records of the Berlin Restitution Offices
Digitised restitution case records of the Berlin Restitution Offices held in the Landesarchiv Berlin, consisting of the record group B Rep 025, Wiedergutmachungsämter von Berlin, containing more than 800,000 files.
click to visit
European Sales Catalogues 1930-1945 Heidelberg University
3,000 digitised auction catalogues including both German-speaking countries and the countries of occupied Europe - Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland - and including every genre of cultural object, from paintings to tapestries to silver and books. Provides the entire texts of auction catalogues. Searchable by auction house, artist, work of art, etc.
click to visit
German Sales Catalogs 1930–1945 at the Getty
More than 2,000 German language sales catalogues published between 1930 and 1945 including more than 230,000 individual auction sales records for paintings, sculptures, and drawings only. Searchable by artist name and nationality, lot title, buyer or seller’s name, city in which the sale occurred, type of subject matter and other fields. Provides only individual lot details, and links to Heidelberg for the full catalogue.  
click to visit
Hermann Goering Collection
Contains 4,263 paintings, sculptures, furniture, tapestries and other art objects, purchased or acquired from confiscated property, many available for restitution today.
click to visit
International Research Portal for Records Related to Nazi-Era Cultural Property
The Portal provides for the first time digital access to millions of cultural property records from the National Archives of the US, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Ukraine, France and other archival sources.  
click to visit

Conferences and Events

In Search of Matisse, Exhibition, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway, 10 September-13 December 2015

On the consequences of art looting. For full details, click here.

First Conference of the German Centre for Cultural Property Losses, Jewish Museum Berlin, 27 and 28 November 2015

On provenance research and restitution of both Nazi-looted art and art taken under the Soviet occupation and the GDR. Only in German, on Friday night and Saturday. Full programme now available. For further details, click here.

Art Law Mixer: Exploring Fair and Just Solutions, Presentation, Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, London, 2 December 2015

On ADR options for Nazi-looted art disputes, organised by the Center for Art Law. For full details, click here.

Autumn meeting of the Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung, Hannover, 8 December 2015

For full details of the programme of the meeting which is open to non-members, click here.

Love for drawings. Collection of Artur Feldmann, Exhibition, National Gallery Prague, 20 October 2015 - 31 January 2016

For full details, click here.

Provenienz macht geschichte - Provenance makes history, Exhibition, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Cologne, Germany, 6 November 2015 - 31 January 2016

Presentation of the Museum's research into purchases of works on paper acquired between 1933 and 1945 with a special focus on German 19th century drawings. For full details, click here.


The Munich Art Hoard: Hitler's Dealer and His Secret Legacy
September 2015
Catherine Hickley. In tracing the origins of the Munich hoard, the book tells of the shady dealings of the Paris art world in the 1940s and recounts political debates in modern-day Berlin, as politicians and lawyers puzzle over the inadequacies of a legal framework that to this day falls short in securing justice for the heirs of those robbed by the Nazis.
read more
Hitler's Art Thief: Hildebrand Gurlitt, the Nazis, and the Looting of Europe's Treasures
September 2015
Susan Ronald. How as an "official dealer" for Hitler and Goebbels, Hildebrand Gurlitt became one of the Third Reich's most prolific art looters. Yet he stole from Hitler too, allegedly to save modern art.
read more
Schwarzbuch Bührle: Raubkunst für das Kunsthaus Zürich? - The Bührle Black Book: Looted Art for the Kunsthaus Zurich?
August 2015
Thomas Buomberger, Guido Magnaguagno. As the Emil Bührle collection is now to move into the planned extension at the Kunsthaus Zurich, designed by David Chipperfield, the authors ask: what are the source of the pictures, are any looted or flight assets, what is the source of the arms dealer's wealth, what was his part in the Nazi regime's art looting, and what is the artistic value of the collection.
read more
The Orpheus Clock: The Search for My Family’s Art Treasures Stolen by the Nazis
August 2015
Simon Goodman. Together with his family, Simon Goodman initiated the first Nazi looting case to be settled in the United States.  Through painstaking detective work across two continents, Simon Goodman has been able to prove that many other works belonged to his grandparents, Fritz and Louise Gutmann, and has successfully secured their return.
read more
Witnessing the Robbing of the Jews A Photographic Album, Paris, 1940-1944
August 2015
Sarah Gensburger. The book tells how the vast enterprise of plunder was implemented in the streets of Paris by analyzing images from an album of photographs found in the Federal Archives of Koblenz, brought from Paris in 1945 and catalogued by the staff of the Munich Central Collecting Point. Beyond bearing witness to the petty acts of larceny, these images provide crucial information on how the Germans saw their work.
read more
Aviso 2015 Raubkunst und Restitution at the Bayerische Staatsgemälde-sammlungen
July 2015
Bernhard Maaz, Alfred Grimm, Meike Hopp, Stephan Klingen, Andreas Strobl, Astrid Pellengahr, Robert Bierschneider. To read the 2015 report on research and restitution at the Bavarian State Paintings Collections Munich, click here.
read more
A Critical Assessment of US Intelligence's Investigation of Nazi Art Looting
April 2015
read more
Prisoners of War: Nazi-Era Looted Art and the Need for Reform in the United States
March 2015
Jessica Schubert.
read more
Nazi-Looted Art from East and West in East Prussia: Initial Findings on the Erich Koch Collection
February 2015
Patricia Kennedy Grimsted.
read more
Artists Under Hitler: Collaboration and Survival in Nazi Germany
January 2015
Jonathan Petropoulos.
read more
L'Impossible Réparation
January 2015
Jean-Marc Dreyfus. A history of French negotiations with Germany between 1944 and 2001 for reparations for deportations, spoliation, war crimes and seized bank accounts.
read more
Fair and Just Solutions? Alternatives to Litigation in Nazi-Looted Art Disputes: Status Quo and New Developments
December 2014
Editor Evelien Campfens.
read more
Forgotten Trials of the Holocaust
November 2014
Michael J. Bazyler and Frank M. Turkheimer. Ten “forgotten trials” of the Holocaust, selected from the many Nazi trials that have taken place over the course of the last seven decades.
read more
Die Praxis des Sammelns. Personen und Institutionen im Fokus der Provenienzforschung
November 2014
Eva Blimlinger and Heinz Schödl (ed).
read more
Museums and Restitution, New Practices, New Approaches
September 2014
Edited by Louise Tythacott, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK, and Kostas Arvanitis, University of Manchester, UK.
read more

Welcome to

This site contains two fully searchable databases.

The Information Database contains information and documentation from forty nine countries, including laws and policies, reports and publications, archival records and resources, current cases and relevant websites.

The Object Database contains details of over 25,000 objects of all kinds – paintings, drawings, antiquities, Judaica, etc – looted, missing and/or identified from over fifteen countries.

All images on the site are published under fair use conditions for the purpose of criticism and research.

For a list of Essential Website Links, showing all key research sites and resources,click here.

For details of international resources, see below, Online Resources and Case News.

For the Gurlitt collection at the Kunstmuseum Bern, click here. For the full range of developments on the Gurlitt case, click here. For all news stories, see the News Archive.  For all other materials, including ALIU reports, etc, search 'Gurlitt'. 

To subscribe to our looted art newsletter, click here.


Heirs of Fritz Grunbaum vs Richard Nagy

16 November 2015: Papers were filed in the New York Supreme Court this week to recover two paintings by Egon Schiele, Woman in a black pinafore and Woman hiding her face, by lawyers acting for the heirs of Fritz Grunbaum. The plaintiffs allege that the paintings were stolen from Grunbaum by the Nazis. They were found being offered for sale at the Salon Art + Design Show at the Park Avenue Armory by the New York art dealer Richard Nagy. To read the summons, click here. The exhibits are listed below: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J.

Revisionism in Germany?

The Recommendation of the German Advisory Commission in the case of ‘Behrens versus Düsseldorf’, issued Berlin 3 February 2015; and the publication in English translation of an article commenting on it by lawyers Dr Henning Kahmann and Varda Naumann

In light of the concern over historical revisionism in the decisions and legal actions of the German Federal Republic, its Advisory (Limbach) Commission and the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SPK, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation), the Central Registry is making available two documents:

The first is an English translation of the Recommendation
in which the German Advisory (Limbach) Commission rejected the claim of the Behrens' heirs on the basis that the loss of the painting claimed, Pariser Wochentag by Adolph von Menzel, was not due to persecution, asserting that transfers of assets in Germany by Jewish people in 1935 were not coerced, that the Jewish sellers received the market price that prevailed at the time and that they received the proceeds of the sale at their free disposal. The Limbach Commission further asserted that no financial distress associated with persecution was involved as Jewish private banks were doing  well in 1935 and were not directly affected by persecution, both official and unofficial, between 1933 and 1935. They specifically assert that Jewish banks benefited from the upswing between 1933 and 1935.

In other cases, currently re Welfenschatz (Guelph), the Limbach Commission, together with the German Federal Republic and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK), also asserts that their similar positions are based on the undisputed findings of the available body of research, although the source of this research is not indicated. It is considered that this represents a move towards a revised view of the history of the Nazi era in which transfers of Jewish owned assets up to 1935 are to be considered as normal, despite the available historical evidence and common understanding. In order to address the signficance of this departure from post-war restitution principles, the Central Registry is publishing a second new document.

The second document is the first publication in English
of an article by the German lawyers Dr Henning Kahmann and Varda Naumann,  'Comment on the Recommendation by the Advisory Commission in the case of “Behrens v. Düsseldorf”'.

In their article, Kahmann and Naumann set out the ways in which they consider Germany is now departing from the Washington Principles and specifically deviating from the 2001 Guidelines for Implementing the 1999 German Declaration with regard to the 'period of collective persecution' and the 'presumption of persecution'. They further explore these new assertions as to the historical facts which are being 'utilised to show that Nazi persecution was not causative for the loss of property' and provide examples to disprove these assertions. These include measures taken against Jewish-owned banks by the Nazis starting in 1933 and the question of whether equal access to justice was available to Jews after 1933.

To read the Advisory Commission Recommendation in English click here.
To read the Advisory Commission Recommendation in German, click here.

To read Kahmann and Naumann's article in English, click here.
To read Kahmann and Naumann's article as published in German in Zeitschrift für offene Vermögensfragen, click here.

If you wish to submit any comments for publication, please send them to

29 October 2015: Motion to Dismiss the Claim for Restitution of the Guelph Treasure filed in New York District Court by the Federal Republic of Germany and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

The Motion to Dismiss the suit of the heirs of the four dealers who sold the Guelph Treasure or Welfenschatz to Germany in 1935 was filed in the New York courts on 29 October by the defendants, the German State and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation which has possession of the Treasure. To read the motion and the grounds on which they are seeking to dismiss the case, click here.

16 September 2015 UK Spoliation Panel Rejects Claim by Oppenheimer heirs to Renoir painting in Bristol Art Gallery

The Panel considered a claim on behalf of Margraf & Co GmbH, a company liquidated by the Nazis in the late 1930s, for an oil painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir entitled Cros de Cagnes, Mer, Montagnes, now in the possession of Bristol City Council. The Margraf group of companies was owned by Jakob and Rosa Oppenheimer.

The Panel concluded that whilst the loss of the Painting amounted to a forced sale, it was not as a result of Nazi persecution but rather as a direct result of Margraf’s bankers’ legitimate exercise of their rights over the painting and other art works in order to realise a significant debt which the Margraf group had accrued and which had its origins prior to the Nazis coming to power. The circumstances in which Margraf lost possession of the painting came about as a result of its indebtedness to its bankers, compounded by the precarious financial position in which the Oppenheimers found themselves following inheritance taxes lawfully imposed upon them in 1929.
The Panel’s conclusion was therefore that Margraf’s claim to the painting was weak and that the claim should be rejected. The Panel recommended that the Oppenheimers’ connection with the painting should be incorporated into its narrative history when it is displayed.
To read the report, click here.

Knoedler Gallery Stock Books 7-11, covering 1921-1970, now in Getty Dealer Stock Books Database

30 October 2015: Knoedler Gallery paintings stock books 7–11 are now in the expanded Dealer Stock Books Database. These stock books, from one of America's oldest and preeminent galleries, document a shift in taste toward modern masters. Dated 1921–1970, these records were transcribed into the database from the stock books' handwritten entries and editorially standardized. They join Knoedler books 1–6 and the Goupil & Cie books, bringing the total number of database records to more than 82,000.
Search the Knoedler Gallery Stock Books database.

Find out more about the archive.

Learn about the transformation of these stock books into the database.

For further details about the digitisation of the Knoedler Gallery records, click here.

15/16 September 2015 ESLI Conference in Brussels on the Importance of Provenance Research

ESLi, the European Shoah Legacy Institute, in cooperation with  Pavel Svoboda MEP, Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs, hosted a conference and exhibition on conflict looting and the importance of provenance research to cultural heritage protection. To read the press release, click here.

Provenance Research in Switzerland: Recent Developments

While Switzerland's official position is that the publication of provenance research on the internet is an important goal, virtually no research has been undertaken at most Swiss museums since the Swiss endorsement of the Washington Principles in 1998.
Any initiative has come from the Federal Office of Culture which officially supports the commitment to provenance research. Research was carried out over a decade ago into the small federal collection. It created a website - -  which allows museums to publish their research. It is currently evaluating the website to see if the content and presentation of the information can be improved.
In 2007 the Federal Office of Culture established a working group of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the cantons (Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education, EDK) and museum associations (Association of Museums in Switzerland, VMS, Swiss Art Museums Association, VSK) on issues related to looted art.
In 2008 it carried out a survey of research and restitution in 551 Swiss museums which was published in November 2010. 461 responded. 326 responded that they were 'not at or only slightly impacted by the problem of Nazi-looted art'. 25 museums stated that they were impacted and had undertaken either comprehensive or partial provenance research; 8 replied that they had undertaken research 'to some extent'. 90 museums did not respond to the question. 261 museums (63% of respondents) stated they had conducted no research. For full details of the report, see the report 'FDHA/FDFA report on the state of work on Nazi-looted art, in particular, on the subject of provenance research' here.
In March 2015 the Federal Office of Culture convened a meeting with the 12 Swiss art museums which had officially endorsed the Washington Principles and anticipates a follow-up meeting being held in autumn 2015. These museums are the following: Aargauer Kunsthaus; Öffentliche Kunstsammlung Basel; Kunstmuseum Bern; Bündner Kunstmuseum; Musée d'Art et d'Histoire Genève; Kunsthaus Glarus; Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts Lausanne; Kunstmuseum Luzern; Kunstmuseum Solothurn; Kunstmuseum St.Gallen; Kunstmuseum Winterthur; Kunsthaus Zürich. Some of those 12 museums have conducted some research but it is not linked to the Federal website and only very erratically available and then not in depth on their own sites. The Office of Culture recommends that each museum be contacted individually for further information on their research progress and findings. In the future, it is planned that their provenance research will be accessible by a link to the Federal website. 
The Swiss authorities have now just announced that they plan to publish the provenance research of 164 museums and collections and link it to the Office of Culture website in 2016 and 2017 and that all these museums and collections have committed to do this. They have also announced that in 2016/2017, they will, for the first time, offer financial assistance for provenance research projects whose results will be published.

10 September 2015 UK Spoliation Panel's Supplementary Report on the Tate Constable Recommends the Painting be returned to the Claimants

10 September 2015: In a report of 26 March 2014, the Spoliation Advisory Panel recommended the restitution of the Constable painting 'Beaching a boat, Brighton' in the Tate London to the heirs of Baron Ferenc Hatvany of Hungary on the basis of the moral strength of the Claimants’ case that the painting had been seized in Hungary and not restituted and the moral obligation on the Tate. On 21 May 2014 the Tate trustees met and authorised the deaccessioning of the painting.  However, restitution was stayed after new evidence emerged. In October 2014 the Tate submitted the new evidence to the Panel - a Hungarian export licence of 17 December 1946, found in the archives of the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest, which included a painting described as 'Constable: Fishing Boat, oil canvas 24 x 29"'. Both claimants and the Tate accepted that this referred to the painting in question and both undertook further research which was then submitted to the Panel for its consideration.
The Panel found the following: No link had been established between Baron Hatvany and the two persons named as applying for the export licence. The work was still being described as looted in an official Hungarian government register compiled between 1946 and 1948. Hatvany was known to be buying works back at this time and there is no record of him selling other works in 1946. The Panel concluded "that on the balance of probabilities he had not recovered it after it was looted and that the export licence was being sought by persons who were either ignorant of its pre-1944 provenance or, knowing it, were sufficiently confident that the work would not in all likelihood be identified as formerly part of the Hatvany collection by the procedures then in force in the Museum of Fine Art in Budapest. Therefore, the Panel concludes that there is nothing in the new material which would lead it to reach a different conclusion and recommendation from its original Report of 26 March 2014".
To read the new report, click here.

25 June 2015: WJRO issues 'Report concerning current approaches of United States museum to Holocaust-era art claims'

Prominent U.S. museums have evaded the restitution of Nazi-looted artworks to their rightful owners and heirs by refusing to resolve claims on their facts and merits and by asserting technical defenses, such as statutes of limitations, according to a new World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) report, authored with the pro-bono assistance of the American law firm Dickstein Shapiro LLP. The report calls for three recommendations to promote merit-based resolutions of Holocaust-era claims against U.S. museums. 
These recommendations include encouraging U.S. museums to live up to the spirit of the Washington Conference Principles, Terezin Declaration and the Guidelines of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM); having the AAM ensure compliance of its member museums by withholding accreditation; and enacting legislation to extend statutes of limitations for Holocaust-era restitution claims.
American museums named in the report as improperly defending against Nazi-looted art claims include the Toledo Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma. “Museums are central to a civilized society,” said Gideon Taylor, WJRO chair of operations. “The American museum community, while understandably an advocate for artwork to remain in public hands, must follow through on its prior commitments not to taint collections with art stolen during the Holocaust.”
To read the report, click here.

Von Alt Catalogue: The Munich Collection and Its Provenance

Edited by Dr Andreas Strobl of the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in Munich and published by Deutscher Kunstverlag, the catalogue (and associated exhibition) arises from a four year project to identify the provenance of some 617 works, mostly by Rudolf von Alt but also 16 by Jakob von Alt, and many from the Martin Bormann collection which acquired them from Viennese Jewish collections ( The catalogue contains references to and research into von Alt works associated with names of Viennese collectors, ranging from Blauhorn to Bloch-Bauer, Heissfeld to Klinger, Mautner to Zuckerkandl. The catalogue is widely available for purchase.

4 June 2015: Ruling of Judge John Walter of California in the case of David Cassirer vs the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation

On 4 June Judge John Walter issued his ruling on the long-standing claim of the heirs of Lilly Cassirer to recover the Pissarro painting which she was forced to sell in 1939. The painting is now in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, acquired in 1976 by Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza from a New York dealer. Judge Walter ruled that Spain had title to the painting but called on the Museum to follow international principles and 'do the right thing'. To read the ruling, click here.

Online Resources and Case News
Country-specific information is available on this site for 48 countries, from Albania to Yugoslavia, in the Information by Country section. Details of important, non country-specific, online resources are available in the International section of the site which contains several categories of information.  For example: 

Case News: provides details of claims and cases ruled on or settled outside the courts with copies of reports and rulings. Full details of a comprehensive range of cases can be found in the News Archive, which is fully searchable by name of family, artwork, museum, city, etc.

: provides details of claims and cases ruled on or being settled in court with copies of court filings and judgements.

Research Resources: provides details of family records, tracing services, art historical resources, texts of post-war reports, and books and publications.

Web Resources: provides details of various online databases of looted paintings, results of provenance research in countries around the world, archival records available online and other research materials.

Seeking Owners of Identified Looted Property: provides lists of names of individuals whose looted property has been identified in institutions in Germany and whose heirs are being sought. 

Other categories of information include Governmental Conferences and Hearings, Laws, Policies and Guidelines, Art Trade, and Press, Television, Radio and Film.  To explore all these sections, click here.

The site is regularly updated with new resources and developments.  To provide details of resources or cases to add to the site, please email

© website copyright Central Registry 2015