News

Klar: "Wir restituieren freiwillig" - Klar: "We restitute voluntarily"
Deutsche Welle 27 February 2015
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Warten auf Gurlitt - Waiting for Gurlitt
Judische Allgemeine 26 February 2015
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The Dutch Stedelijk Museum Questions Origins of Some of Its Art
Wall Street Journal 26 February 2015
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Granddaughter of Nazi Victim Paul Rosenberg to Hold Inaugural NYC Gallery Show
Artnet 25 February 2015
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Opinion: Guelph Treasure must stay in Germany
Deutsche Welle 25 February 2015
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Guelph Treasure case takes Germany by surprise
Deutsche Welle 25 February 2015
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Civil Action Filed Against Germany for Restitution of Guelph Treasure
Art Law Report 24 February 2015
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Claimants to $276 Million Guelph Treasure Once Gifted to Hitler Sue German State
Artnet 24 February 2015
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Granddaughter of French dealer whose collection was confiscated by Nazis opens New York gallery
The Art Newspaper 24 February 2015
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Sullivan & Worcester LLP Press Release Concerning Claims For Guelph Treasure
Art Law Report 24 February 2015
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Germany Is Sued in U.S. Court Over Medieval Treasure Acquired by Nazis
Wall Street Journal 24 February 2015
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Grundsätzliche Fragen an die Datenbank - Fundamental questions about the lostart.de database
Handelsblatt 24 February 2015
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Heirs of Jewish art dealers sue Germany over art haul sold in Nazi era
AP 24 February 2015
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Nazi-looted Rothschild art goes to MFA
Boston Globe 23 February 2015
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Cuba refuses to return seized art despite thaw in relations with US
The Art Newspaper 23 February 2015
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Ohio Art Museum to Return Likely Stolen Artifact to Germany
AP 22 February 2015
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Les musées français tardent à restituer les biens juifs spoliés par les nazis
France Inter 20 February 2015
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Statement of the Kunstmuseum Bern, in agreement with the relevant German authorities, on the restitution of artworks from the Gurlitt Art Collection
Kunstmuseum Bern Press Release 20 February 2015
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Tableaux spoliés : les musées font de la résistance - Looted Artworks: the museums resist
France Inter 20 February 2015
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Cousine: Gurlitt wollte Kunstsammlung nicht ins Ausland geben - Cousin: Gurlitt did not want his collection to go abroad
Monopol 19 February 2015
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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

Conferences and Events

The Stedelijk Museum & The Second World War, Exhibition, Amsterdam 27 February-31 May 2015

For full details, click here.

L'art dégénéré selon Hitler - Degenerate Art According to Hitler, Exhibition, Cité Miroir Liège, 16 October 2014 - 29 March 2015

Organised by the City, Museums and University of Liège, MNEMA and Les Territoires de la Mémoire. For full details, click here.

Training Program in Art Provenance Research, New York Law School, April and May 2015

Three two day workshops organised by NYLS and HARP. For full details, click here.

Publications

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
Holocaust-Era Looted Art: A Current World-Wide Overview
September 2014
Dr Wesley A. Fisher and Dr Ruth Weinberger. Report by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and World Jewish Restitution Organization
read more
Provenance Research in American Institutions
August 2014
Jane C. Milosch, Lynn H. Nicholas and Megan M. Fontanella (guest editors). A series of essays by American experts, including Nancy Yeide, Christian Huemer and Laurie Stein. 
read more
NS-Raubkunst auf der Spur: Provenienzforschung an der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek
July 2014
Susanne Wanninger and Dr Stephan Kellner. A review of provenance research conducted at the Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library) since 2003.
read more
The Vienna Archives: Musical Expropriation During the Nazi Era and 21st Century Ramifications
June 2014
Dr Carla J. Shapreau. A study on the displacement and loss of musical instruments and associated items in Austria during the Nazi-era.
read more
Der Fall Gurlitt
April 2014
Stefan Koldehoff, Ralf Oehmke and Raimund Stecker .
read more
Archivist Monuments Man: Lester K. Born
April 2014
Dr Greg Bradsher. The next installment in an ongoing series of posts on real-life Monuments Men.
read more
Die Bilder sind unter uns. Das Geschäft mit der NS-Raubkunst und der Fall Gurlitt
April 2014
Stefan Koldehoff. An updated and revised version of Stefan Koldehoff's 2009 book with a new chapter on the Gurlitt case.
read more
Monuments Men Records at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland
March 2014
Dr Greg Bradsher and Dr Sylvia Naylor.
read more
Ravaged. Art and Culture in Times of Conflict
March 2014
Jo Tollebeek and Eline van Assche (eds.). A publication accompanying the exhibition Ravaged at the M - Museum Leuven.
read more
Reviewing the Agudas Chasidei Chabad v. Russian Federation, et al. Dispute
March 2014
Irina Tarsis and Elizabeth Varner.
read more
Spurensuche: Silber aus ehemals jüdischem Besitz im Sammlungsbestand des Münchner Stadtmuseums
March 2014
Vanessa Voigt. A review of silver objects formerly in Jewish ownership in the holdings of the Münchner Stadtmuseums
read more
The Struggle for the Files: The Western Allies and the Return of German Archives after the Second World War
February 2014
Astrid M Eckert.
read more
The Loss of French Musical Property During World War II: Post-War Repatriations, Restitutions, and 21st Century Ramifications
January 2014
Carla Shapreau. The nature and scope of French music-related losses during the Nazi era, the status of post-war recoveries, and what remains missing today.
read more

Welcome to lootedart.com

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.

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 full range of developments on the Gurlitt case since the news broke on 3 November 2013, excluding what is on the homepage, including government press releases, Allied documents 1945-1950, specialist publications, the text of the proposed Lex Gurlitt, images and details of the works in the collection, 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.

NEW

Complaint filed on 23 February 2015 Philipp and Stiebel v Federal Republic of Germany and the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz

To read the complaint filed for restitution of the Guelph Treasure in the US District Court, which includes the supporting evidentiary documentation, click here.

19 February 2013: Press Release Bundesverwaltungsgericht (German Federal Administrative Court) regarding a case seeking to delete registration of looted artworks at www.lostart.de

The plaintiff, a corporation, requested that a search request for a painting be deleted from lostart.de, maintaining that the painting was confiscated from them due to Nazi persecution. There was an independent second search request on lostart.de by the successors of a Jewish bank for the same painting who also claimed that the painting had been looted from them. The painting was located in Namibia and its current possessor and the first applicant (the corporation) agreed to auction off the painting and split the proceeds. The painting, however, was then withdrawn from the auction after the Koordinierungsstelle refused to take the painting off the lostart.de database without the consent of the second applicant (the Jewish bank).

The German court of first and second instance had decided in favour of the first applicant (the corporation). They found that the mandate of the database was fulfilled once the painting was located so that upholding the search request on the database would interfere with the rights of the first applicant (the corporation). However, on 19 February 2015 the Federal Administrative Court of Germany reversed the decisions of the courts of prior instance and dismissed the complaint of the plaintiff, judging that the plaintiff does not have a claim under public law and that the search request did not become unlawful with the discovery of the painting as there was no certainty yet as to fate and history of the painting.


To read the ruling of the court and a full English summary of the case and the ruling, click here.

Press Release Bern Kunstmuseum 20 February 2015

Statement of the Kunstmuseum Bern, in agreement with the relevant German authorities, on the restitution of artworks from the Gurlitt Art Collection


20 February 2015: By signing the agreement, the Kunstmuseum Bern relinquished any entitlement to pictures suspected of being looted art as early as November 24, 2014. This is also true for the picture Seated Woman by Henri Matisse. Since then, the BKM (the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media), in agreement with the KMB, is endeavoring to obtain the necessary evidence of the claimant’s entitlement to restitutions from the attorneys representing the Rosenberg family. What has been submitted to date falls short of the requirements—just as in the cases of the two other restitutions that have been assented to. The necessary documents for proving entitlement to inherit of individual members of the respective community of heirs have been requested several times, accompanied by necessary explanations both in writing and orally. Mr. Marinello, the legal representative of the Rosenberg heirs, sent documents proving entitlement to inherit to the BKM with a letter dated January 23, 2015, and on February 14, 2015, agreed to send the missing documents and evidence at a later date.

In addition, now that Mrs. Uta Werner is contesting the will, restitution can only be arranged in agreement with the executor appointed by the probate court in Munich, who must consider the interests of all the possible heirs (legal heirs and the KMB). And, as long as the curatorship of the estate lasts, will probably also obtain the required approval of the probate court. To the best of our knowledge, the BKM is currently settling a restitution agreement with the executor on both the Matisse and the Liebermann paintings—of which the claimants have been informed. This will require additional time. For these two reasons no restitution has been possible as yet.

For further information, see the Gurlitt section of the Kunstmuseum website  and send any questions to the following address: press@kunstmuseumbern.ch

Press Release Bern Kunstmuseum 17 February 2015

Pending Certificate of Inheritance Proceedings Cause Delays

The Bern Kunstmuseum's decision of November to establish a Gurlitt research body has been delayed because of the pending inheritance claim by Cornelius Gurlitt's cousin. The role of the research body will be to investigate all works and present its findings to the German Task Force which has sole decision-making power. Art historian Prof. Dr. Oskar Bätschmann will be supervisor of the research body and he will be assisted by three yet to be appointed research associates, all reporting to Bern's Trustees in the first instance. The research body will operate for six years with initial funding secured for the first twelve months. The Board regrets the delay occasioned by the inheritance dispute which means that even processing the restitution cases of the Matisse, Liebermann, and Spitzweg, which have already been clarified and endorsed by the Kunstmuseum Bern, will be impeded as long as the dispute about the inheritance is ongoing.
To read the press release as a pdf, click here

German Advisory Commission turns down Behrens claim against Düsseldorf

3 February 2015: The Commission has turned down the claim against the Dusseldorf Museum for the painting Pariser Wochentag by Adolf von Menzel on the grounds that its loss was not due to persecution of its Jewish owner George E Behrens, one of the owners of the bank Bankhaus L Behrens & Sons. While accepting that Behrens was subject to persecution and fled Germany as a result, the Commission rejected the claim that the painting was sold in 1935 as a result. Although there is no evidence that Behrens received the sale proceeds, the Commission took this as evidence that he probably did, asserting that in 1935 he could have had free access to his financial assets. To read the full ruling of the Commission, click here.

22 January 2015: First Board Meeting of the German Centre for Cultural Property Losses

At the inaugural meeting of the new Foundation - the Stiftung Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste -  in the Federal Chancellery in Berlin a board of 15 trustees from the federal, state and municipal associations was established. Culture Minister Monika Grütters was appointed chair of the board, and Stephan Dorgerloh, Culture Minister of the state of Saxony, where the Centre is based, deputy chair. The art historian, Professor Dr Uwe M. Schneede, was appointed managing director of the board by Monika Grütters for what she called his reputation and commitment to provenance research which she said provides the Centre with the necessary national and international standing. A new Research Council is to be chaired by Dr Hermann Simon of the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin, whom Monika Grütters said brought into the Centre the perspective of the victims and their interests. The Council will evaluate project applications. Directives and authorisation policies were adopted. Guidelines were expanded to include private individuals and institutions which will now be able to apply for funding to undertake provenance research if their research can be shown to be in the public interest. Funding from the Federal Government will triple in 2015 from 2m euros to 6m euros. The Centre will move into its new building in Magdeburg in April.
To read the government's press release, click here.

Knoedler Gallery Correspondence Files Finding Aid Now Available Online

2 January 2014: The Getty Research Institute has now catalogued and made available in its Series Vl of the records of M Knoedler & Co a finding aid to the Gallery's correspondence records. These are primarily the correspondence files maintained by the New York office, but they also contain files from the firm's other offices in London, Paris and Chicago. The bulk of the series are letters received by the New York and London offices between 1879 and 1971. These generally concern possible sales or purchases of artworks and include letters of inquiries about sales,negotiations of prices, appraisals,loans of artworks for exhibitions, and occasionally personal notes. The interoffice correspondence includes notes or instructions directed to staff and information about sales, potential sales, clients, collectors, and collections, as kept by each office. There is also the correspondence of the firm's library which concerns requests for documentation and illustrations of artworks, inquiries about publications, and includes letters received from the firm's library in London. Already available are finding aids and a database of the firm's stock book records, sales books and commission books.

View the finding aid.
Find out more about the archive.
Read more about the firm's role in the art market.

Tracing the Past - Mapping the Lives of the Jews of Europe

"Our goal is for you to be able to walk down any street in Europe and learn the Holocaust history of that specific place."

Tracing the Past is a non-profit organization based in Berlin and launched at the end of October 2014 dedicated to the research and memorialization of the persecuted in Europe 1933-1945. Its first project has been to create a database from the 1939 German Minority Census. As a result, approximately two-thirds of the nearly 170,000 Shoah victims from Germany are now searchable for the first time by residential street address here.

Mapping the Lives is a proposed project dedicated to creating biographies, online maps and smartphone applications pinpointing the residential street addresses of all known victims of the Nazi Regime who were persecuted for reasons of race, religion, political views, resistance, sexual orientation, social orientation, and physical or mental incapacity.

To visit the site, click http://tracingthepast.org/. To listen to Roderick Miller, chairman of Tracing the Past, in a Tedx talk given in Vienna on 1 November 2014, click here.

US National Archives and Records Administration Records Available for Free on Fold3

9 September 2014: The records of the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) are available through the International Research Portal on their website (Holocaust Era Assets records) as a free collection on the online database Fold3. To access the records, register for a free Fold3 member account.

 

To read more about the NARA records available on Fold3, 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.


Lawsuits
: 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 info@lootedart.com.

© website copyright Central Registry 2015