News

Ein zweifelhaftes Millionen-Geschenk - An equivocal gift of a million Swiss francs
Berner Zeitung 3 April 2015
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Von Saher: Court Says Statute of Limitations for Recovery of Stolen Art Runs Anew Against Subsequent Purchasers/Transferees
National Law Review 1 May 2015
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Gurlitt’s Cousin Appeals Judgment of Probate Court
Institute of Art and Law 30 April 2015
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Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste nimmt Arbeit auf - German Cultural Property Centre starts work
MDR 28 April 2015
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Tate puts return of Constable on hold
The Art Newspaper 28 April 2015
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Le nouveau film documentaire sur l'histoire de Rose Valland projeté en avant-première à Grenoble (Isère)
France 3 Alpes 28 April 2015
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Gurlitt cousin appeals rejection of her inheritance claim
AP 28 April 2015
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Hermann Goering's daughter fails to reclaim items looted by Nazi deputy during WWII
The Independent 25 April 2015
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Administrative Court Magdeburg: No Access to Files of Limbach Commission under the Freedom of Information Act
Dispute Resolution in Germany
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Competing or Complementing: Art Loss Databases Proliferate
Center for Art Law 23 April 2015
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Kühne und Nagel : Der Schatten der NS-Zeit - The Shadow of the Nazi Era
SHZ 23 April 2013
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Postwar Export Permit Apparently At the Center of Shift in Tate Restitution Dispute
Art Law Report 20 April 2015
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Stuttgart et Kassel veulent exposer la collection Gurlitt
Tribune de Genève 20 April 2015
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Gericht verhandelt zur Transparenz von Raubkunst-Empfehlung - Court will rule on transparency of Limbach commission recommendation
Die Welt 20 April 2015
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Does this document mean Tate can hold on to £1million Constable masterpiece looted by the Nazis?
Mail on Sunday 19 April 2015
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Dutch Restitutions Committee rejects Stettiner claim
Institute of Art and Law 17 April 2015
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The Difficult Work of Reclaiming Art
Jewish Exponent 15 April 2015
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Documenta director wants to show all the works Gurlitt hoarded
The Art Newspaper 15 April 2015
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Kunstmuseum Bern stellt Gurlitt-Schatz geschlossen aus – Staatsgalerie Stuttgart will zweite Station sein – Cornelius Gurlitt plante möglicherweise schon in den 90ern, Sammlung in Bern zu stiften
Focus 10 April 2015
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Heirs of Nazi victim to get compensation from sale of looted Monet
JTA 9 April 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
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

Die Biografie der Objekte. Provenienzforschung weiter denken (The Biography of Objects. Thinking provenance research), Conference, Ruhr Museum Essen, 3-6 May 2015

Organised by the German Museums Association in cooperation with the Kulturstiftung der Länder. For full details, click here.

Symposium Kunst & Recht: Gurlitt - was nun? (Art & Law Symposium: Gurlitt - What Now?), University of Regensburg, Germany, 22 May 2015

For further details, click here.

Art Crime and Cultural Heritage: Fakes, Forgeries, and Looted and Stolen Art, Symposium, New York University, 4-6 June 2015

For full details, click here.

The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril: Theft, Retrieval, Sale and Restitution of rare books, maps and manuscripts, Seminar, British Library London, 26 June 2015

Organised by the Art Law Commission of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA), the British Library and  the Institute of Art and Law. For full details, click here.

CFP: Summer University: Primary Sources at Work. Nazi Looted Art, Centre Pompidou Paris, 2-11 July 2015

Organised by Didier Schulmann, Mica Gherghescu, Florent Brayard, Arno Gisinger and Johanna Linsler. For full details, click here.

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

For full details, click here.

Restoring a Legacy: Rothschild Family Treasures, Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 1 March–21 June 2015

A celebration of the recent gift of works of art from the collection of the Viennese Rothschilds. For further details, click here.

Karl Blechen’s Scholastica painting from the Rudolf Mosse collection, Exhibition, 19 March - 7 June 2015, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe

For further details, click here.

Publications

A Critical Assessment of US Intelligence's Investigation of Nazi Art Looting
April 2015
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Nazi-Looted Art from East and West in East Prussia: Initial Findings on the Erich Koch Collection
February 2015
Patricia Kennedy Grimsted.
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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.
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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 .
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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.
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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.
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Monuments Men Records at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland
March 2014
Dr Greg Bradsher and Dr Sylvia Naylor.
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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.
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Reviewing the Agudas Chasidei Chabad v. Russian Federation, et al. Dispute
March 2014
Irina Tarsis and Elizabeth Varner.
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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

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.

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.

NEW

8 April 2015 International Tracing Service (ITS) seeks new director

The International Tracing Service at Bad Arolsen, Germany, with its UNESCO recognised archives containing  more than 30 million documents from the National Socialist era, World War II and the immediate post-war period, is seeking a new director who can give strong international, academic and administrative leadership. For details of the post, click here.

1 April 2015: Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste (German Centre for Cultural Property Losses) starts work in Magdeburg

The Centre's team at its new address at Humboldtstraße 12 has been announced as Dr. Andrea Baresel-Brand, Dr. Michael Franz, Sabine Kramer, Susanne Zwick, Yvonne Sommermeyer, Christin Blaeß and Torsten Declercq, all seven former employees of the Koordinierungs-stelle Magdeburg. There are also three former employees of the Arbeitsstelle für Provenienzforschung, Birgit Rombach, Nadine Bauer and Dr. Uwe Hartmann. The full-time Executive Board will be appointed later this month.
Although the key purpose of the Centre is to promote and fund provenance research throughout Germany in order to identify Nazi-looted art and enable its return to its rightful owners, it is notable that the Centre's website http://www.kulturgutverluste.de/ only appears in the German language, and there is no mention of when or if the site will provide an English language version, which is essential for the rightful owners.

26 March 2015 EHRI Online Portal Connects Holocaust Archives Worldwide

On 26 March, EHRI – the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure – presented its online portal. It provides access to information about more than 1,800 Holocaust-related archival institutions in 51 countries, to 57 country reports, and to over 150,000 archival descriptions in 465 institutions. Starting out in 2010 as a EC-financed initiative, scholars in 20 institutions in Europe and Israel worked together to make archives accessible and to connect collections. The EHRI portal offers access to information on Holocaust-related archival material held in institutions across Europe and beyond and plans to keep expanding. To visit the portal, go to https://portal.ehri-project.eu.

Further list of names of owners of looted books published by the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin


The Central and Regional Library of Berlin is checking its stock for Nazi-looted books with the aim of returning them to their rightful owners or their heirs. At the end of January, it published a further updated list of the names of the rightful owners of looted books in its collection identified through signatures, stamps, inscriptions and notes found in the books - all of which have been photographed by the Library.

The list includes all the names of persons whom the Library could not yet identify clearly or names of people persecuted by the Nazi regime whom they were able to identify, but were unable to trace their heirs.

Any information about the persons in the list could help the Library with its search for the rightful owners and their heirs. Restitutions to date in 2015 are published here by the Library with information about the owners and their history.

The list of names of owners is published on lootedart.com here, with full details of all related information and contact details for the Library.

26 March 2015 Dutch Restitutions Committee rejects Stettiner family claim

        
The decision concerns the painting Old Man with Beard by Salomon Koninck (1609-1656).
At the beginning of the Second World War the painting was sold by the art gallery Firma D. Katz in Dieren to the German Alois Miedl, who shortly before had taken over the Amsterdam gallery J. Goudstikker N.V. The work was then sold on to an art buyer acting for Adolf Hitler’s proposed Führer Museum.
In an exhibition catalogue produced by Katz in 1939, the entry about the Salomon Koninck work mentions ‘Stettiner, Paris’ as one of the former collections. According to the applicants this refers to the Jewish Stettiner family and/or the Stettiner et Cie. gallery in Paris.
No information was found during the Restitutions Committee’s investigation about the moment at which the painting left the possession of ‘Stettiner, Paris’.
The Restitutions Committee concluded that the right of ownership of the Stettiner family and/or the Stettiner et Cie. gallery in Paris during the period relevant to the restitution application is not highly probable, and it therefore advised the Minister to reject the applicants’ claim to the artwork.
To read the full report, click here.

Publication of Review of the UK Spoliation Advisory Panel 24 March 2015

The government appointed independent review of the UK Panel praises the work of the Panel to date and makes several recommendations. These include that the membership be refreshed, that further members from the museum and fine arts sectors be added, that the Terms of Reference remain the same but that the conduct of museums not be considered relevant in assessing a claim, that a "fast-track, small claims procedure" be established, and that "legitimate public comments by members [of the panel] is incompatible with membership". To read the Report, click here. To read the UK Culture Minister's response to the recommendations, click here

Digitisation of the Duveen Brothers Records March 2015
Sir Joseph Duveen, who was among the most prominent art dealers of the first half of the 20th century, gained international fame for selling European Old Master paintings, antique furnishings, and other objets d'art to American collectors for record prices. Founded by Joseph Duveen's father and uncle in the late 1860s, Duveen Brothers experienced its greatest success during Joseph's tenure as president of the firm, 1909 to 1939.
The business archive of the Duveen firm is preserved in the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute. It contains a vast amount of material including stock books, sales books, invoice books, shipping receipts, customer ledgers, loose photographs, 2,000 glass negatives, and hundreds of correspondence files that include letters to, from, and about clients, museums, scholars, and other dealers.
In 2006, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, placed on deposit at the Research Library a large number of additional archival materials relating to Duveen Brothers, including scrapbooks, photo albums, research files, restoration photographs, and authentication certificates. These items had constituted part of the Duveen Brothers library, which was acquired by the Clark Art Institute in the 1960s.

For full details, click here.
A Study by Professor Michel Flamée of the decision of the City of Ghent not to restitute Oskar Kokoschka's 'Portrait of Ludwig Adler' to the grandchildren of Victor von Klemperer

In June 2011 the City of Ghent turned down the claim of the von Klemperer heirs to the painting, now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent. The panel it had appointed concluded that the painting was not sold under pressure and that its ownership by Ghent was indisputable both in Private International Law and in the context of post-war Allied and West German restitution laws.

Professor Flamée, a distinguished Belgian lawyer, has analysed the decision, examining whether the panel correctly drew the line between fairness and arbitrariness in accordance with the Washington Principles. He questions whether the panel should have been tasked with combining the two different approaches, 'positive law' and 'fairness', looks at whether the panel took into account all known facts and whether, when taken into account, a different decision might have been reached. He investigates who bears the burden of proof and for which facts, and queries whether any part of the burden should have rested on the claimant. Finally, he explores the concept of fairness and how the prescription of fairness derived from Washington might apply to works of art acquired prior to 1998. 

 

The study, is published by kind permission of Professor Flamée. To read it, click here. The original decision of Ghent is available here.

Images published under fair use conditions for the purpose of criticism and research.

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.

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