News

Le système sclérosé des musées français - The ossified system of French museums
Libération 17 December 2014
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German foundation seeks ruling on Jewish art claim
AP 16 December 2014
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Eine ziemlich illustre Sippe - A fairly illustrious clan
Der Bund 14 December 2014
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Taking back the Nazis’ plunder
National Post 13 December 2014
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Es ist keine Zeit zu verlieren - There is no time to lose
Frankfurter Allgemeine 12 December 2014
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Collection Gurlitt: la taskforce a reçu plus de 200 demandes
Romandie 12 December 2014
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200 come forward to claim Nazi-era art hoard
AFP 12 December 2014
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Dunkle Geschichte - Gurlitts Erbe unter der Lupe - Dark History - Gurlitt's Heritage in the Spotlight
Aachener Nachrichten 12 December 2014
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Stiftung kümmert sich um NS-Raubkunst - Foundation to address Nazi-looted Art
NWZ Online 11 December 2014
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The Nazis, the Cummer & The Art of the Steal
Folio Weekly 10 December 2014
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Stuart Eizenstat voll des Lobes - Stuart Eizenstat full of praise
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 7 December 2014
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A Nazi-looted painting prepares to go home
The Star 5 December 2014
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„Knackpunkte“ bei Klimt-Fries - "Sticking points" in Klimt frieze
Tiroler Tageszeitung 5 December 2014
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Art detectives mull Gurlitt treasures
Swissinfo 5 December 2014
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Gurlitts Ex-Anwalt will vom Museum 1,7 Millionen - Gurlitt's ex-lawyer wants 1.7m Swiss francs from the museum
Berner Zeitung 5 December 2014
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Austria Restitution Advisory Commission Defers Klimt Beethoven Frieze Decision, No Reasons Given
Art Law Report 4 December 2014
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U.S. Museums Must Deal Fairly With Nazi-looted Art Claims
The Jewish Week 2 December 2014
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The Holocaust Art Restitution Project Calls on the Kunstmuseum Bern to Fully Comply With the ICOM Code Of Ethics In Its Handling Of Looted Artworks From the Gurlitt Collection, Including Waiving a Section of its Agreement With Germany, Performing ...
HARP 1 December 2014
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Gurlitt und die Folgen Die Kunst hat ein Bleiberecht - Gurlitt and the consequences: The art has a right to stay where it is
Frankfurter Allgemeine 29 November 2014
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Die Ausweitung der Raubkunstzone - The Expansion of the Looted Art Zone
Bazler Zeitung 29 November 2014
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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

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.

Kunstraub | Raubkunst - Art Theft | Looted Art, Exhibition, Galerie Alte & Neue Meister, Schwerin, 24 October 2014 - 1 February 2015

For further information, click here.

"NS-Raubkunst. Die Suche nach verbrachten Kulturgüter" - "The Search for Displaced Cultural Goods", Conference, Salzburg, 15 December 2014

An afternoon conference jointly organised by the Polish Embassy, the University of Salzburg and the Statdtarchiv Salzburg on the finding of cultural property looted from Poland in Austria and its restitution. For full details, click here.

Publications

Fair and Just Solutions? Alternatives to Litigation in Nazi-Looted Art Disputes: Status Quo and New Developments
December 2014
Editor Evelien Campfens.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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. 
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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.
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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
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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.
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Der NS-verfolgungsbedingte Entzug von Kunstwerken und deren Restitution
January 2014
Leonie Schwarzmeier. A legal history study of the Nazi expropriation of art work and its restutition.
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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

Publication of French Parliamentary Report 'Rapport d’information sur «la gestion des réserves et dépôts des musées»'

16 December 2014: The French Commission des affaires culturelles et d'education has today presented in Parliament and published its report on French museums. The committee conducted 40 hearings and visited Germany, the UK and the US in the course of its investigation. Its report criticises France for lagging behind other countries as regards Nazi looted art. Only 102 works have been restituted of the 2,143 MNR works returned to France at the end of the war for the purpose of restitution. The Ministry's response to earlier criticism was to mount an enquiry into 145 of the works which led earlier this autumn to a report announcing  "promising" research on 28 of them, about which the committee is scathing. The report calls for a new start, a serious search for heirs and the provision of funds for research. It also calls for provenance research in all French museums of works acquired since 1933 in line with the Washington Principles.  To read the report, click here.

13 books restituted from the Berlin State Library to the Jewish Community Vienna

4 December 2014: 13 books published between 1840 and 1914 have been returned to the Jewish Community of Vienna following provenance research undertaken in the Berlin State Library. The research was published online, leading to a request for the books' return by Vienna.
The library of the Jewish Community Vienna was sealed by the Gestapo during Kristallnacht in 1938. Between 1939 and 1941 it was sent by Adolf Eichmann to the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) (Reich Security Head Office) in Berlin. In 1945 part of the library was taken to Lower Silesia and Northern Bohemia to avoid aerial bombing, but only a small proportion was recovered in 1945.  
The Berlin State Library's research into its 3 million volumes continues and some 1,000 have been returned to their rightful owners since the project began. In December 2013 the Library published a 400 page study, Beschlagnahmt, erpresst, erbeutet. NS-Raubgut, Reichstauschstelle und Preußische Staatsbibliothek zwischen 1933 und 1945 (Confiscated, Blackmailed, Seized: Nazi loot, the Reich Exchange Office and the Prussian State Library 1933-1945) which provides a context for the research both in the Berlin and other German libraries.
To read the press release from the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation about the restitution to Vienna, click here. To see further details of the 2013 book, click here.

Gurlitt Collection Lists, Documentation and Outstanding Questions

Works of Art: Some 1,600 works were published by the Bern Kunstmuseum on 27 November in two listings, one for the works found in the Munich apartment and one for those found in the Salzburg house. The Salzburg collection accounts for 254 works, considerably more than the estimate of 60 previously given. The lists are published only in German and provide artist name, title, date, medium, dimensions and image. No provenance information is included. Bern says it will update the lists once the research progresses further. To see the Munich list, click here. To see the Salzburg list, click here.

Business Records: It was announced on Monday that Hildebrand Gurlitt's business records would be published online. Many have long called for these to be publicly available. Lostart.de has now published four categories of records covering the years 1937-1945: Einkaufsbuch Verkaufsbuch 1937-41 (Purchases and Saless Ledgers 1937-41; Ein- und Verkaufsbuch 1937- (Purchases and Sales Ledger 1937-); Im- und Export (Import and Export); and Konto-Korrent (Accounts). The names of the buyers are redacted by lostart for "data protection" reasons and will be only released to those who can show a "legitimate interest". 

Provenance Research Reports: It was also announced on Monday that the Task Force would provide research reports on any of the 500 works deemed problematic which proved to have been looted. Immediately before the press conference, lostart.de published the third report on a looted artwork produced by the Task Force, this on the Spitzweg drawing Playing the Piano from the Henri Hinrichsen collection. Like the two previous reports, on the Matisse painting Seated Woman from the Paul Rosenberg collection and the Liebermann oil Two Riders on a Beach from the David Friedmann collection, the reports are in German, determinations are based on whether a work was lost due to persecution during the Nazi era, are thin in content, and redact information about competing claimants. The Spitzweg report shows that in 1966, following a claim to the German government from the Hinrichsen heirs, Mrs Gurlitt was asked about the fate of the drawing, which the German government knew had been acquired by her husband in 1940 in Leipzig. She replied that all business records had been destroyed on 13 February 1945 in the bombing of Dresden and she was not able to help.

Other works acquired from Hildebrand Gurlitt or sold out of the collection: Questions remain about what art was sold by Hildebrand Gurlitt to museums and collectors and what art was disposed of by him and his family through the German, Austrian and Swiss art market. CLAE and others are calling for museums to disclose any works with a Gurlitt provenance and for dealers to dislcose any works they have sold for the family since the end of the war.

Rapport définitif du groupe de travail sur les provenances d’oeuvres récupérées après la seconde guerre mondiale

27 November: The report of the French government's working group on the provenance of works of art returned to France after the Second World War has been published. Among the 27 works identified as looted and whose heirs are now being sought are MNR 645 Bateaux sur une mer agitée which belonged to the Bargeboer couple from Holland, both of whom perished; MNR 609 et MNR 610, oil paintings by Joseph Vernet which belonged to Édouard de Rothschild; R6D, a drawing by Marie Laurencin which belonged to Paul Rosenberg; OAR 45 et OAR 474, tapestries which belonged to Daniel Wolf of Amsterdam, and MNR 733, an oil painting by Egbert van der Poel which belonged to Eugene Reiz.
The group made a number of recommendations regarding the public availability of research resources, including the need to improve the documentation and information available on the MNR site, the creation of a guide to archival documentation and the digitisation of auction catalogues. The group's members were Thierry Bajou, Elisabeth Foucart-Walter, Elouise Garnier, Catherine Granger, Muriel de Bastier, Anne Liskenne, Monique Leblois-Péchon, Emmanuelle Pollack, Alain Prévet, Rachel Rimmer, Isabelle Rixte, Anne Roquebert, Philippe Saunier and France Legueltel, chair of the group.
To read the report, click here.

Knoedler Gallery Archive Stock Books Now Available Online

1 October 2014: The Getty Research Institute has launched an expanded dealer stock book database that provides free online access to almost 24,000 records created from the Knoedler Gallery painting stock books. Books 1 through 6, dating from 1872 to 1920, are available now; books 7 through 11 will be added soon. The Knoedler Gallery was a central force in the evolution of an art market in the U.S.
Search the database.
Browse the stock books.
Find out more about the Knoedler Gallery Archive.

Statement of the Ashmolean Museum Oxford on the Report of the Spoliation Panel

The Ashmolean's statement of 16 October 2014, available here, was issued in response to the Spoliation Panel's ruling that a Renaissance salt in its collection be returned to the heirs of the collector Emma Budge. The salt was part of a 2012 bequest of a 500 piece collection put together by Michael Wellby, a member of a family prominent in the silver trade. Wellby opened his own shop in Grafton Street in the 1960s, specializing in German silver of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in which he became an acknowledged expert. The salt was acquired in or shortly after 1994 for his personal collection.

As a result of the Ashmolean's provenance research, led by Professor Timothy Wilson, Keeper of the Department of Western Art, the rightful owner of the salt was identified and contacted through the Commission for Looted Art.  The ensuing claim for restitution was then referred to the Spoliation Advisory Panel for a ruling. The Panel analyzed the circumstances of the sale and concluded that it was a direct result of anti-Semitic intervention by the Nazi authorities. The Panel recommends that the Museum return the salt to the representatives of the Budge family. The Museum will therefore return the salt to the representatives of the Budge family.

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.

Information on Forced Sales of Mosse Family Art Collection Available on www.lootedart.com

 

 

21 August 2014: Rudolf Mosse was a philanthropist, advertising pioneer and the founder of the well-known Verlag Rudolf Mosse, a publishing house in Berlin, which, among other periodicals, published the Berliner Tageblatt. Following Rudolf’s death in 1920, Hans Lachmann-Mosse became the successor to the family’s business interests. Both Rudolf and his son-in-law Hans assembled significant art collections.

 

Following the Nazi rise to power in 1933, Hans Lachmann-Mosse and his family fled Germany. The same year the family’s assets were seized in Berlin and elsewhere by the Nazi government.

 

In 1934, parts of the Mosse family art collections were sold under duress at two auctions in Berlin, one at Rudolf Lepke’s Kunst-Auctions-Haus on 29-30 May 1934 and one at Auktions-Haus Union on 6-7 June 1934. Both auctions were organised by Karl Haberstock.

 

The full contents of the catalogues of both auctions have been made available in both German and English through the Object Database of the Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property 1933 - 1945.

Germany's Limbach Commission recommends that Corinth painting should not be returned

21 August 2014: The Limbach Commission has published its recommendation regarding the painting “Three Graces” by Lovis Corinth currently in the collection of the Bavarian State Paintings Collection. While the expert panel recognized that the painting's previous owner, Jewish industrialist Clara Levy, was a victim of Nazi-persecution, they held that the painting was legally shipped to New York by Levy's daughter-in-law in early 1940. Following this, it changed ownership several times before it returned to Germany after the war.

 

To read the full decision in German, click here.

Munich Stadtmuseum Researches and Publishes Silver Objects from Former Jewish Ownership

 

 

23 July 2014: In September 2011 the Münchner Stadtmuseum, the largest municipal museum in Germany, both in terms of its physical magnitude and the scope of its collections, initiated a joint research project with the Berlin Arbeitsstelle für Provenienzforschung to systematically research its collection to identify potentially Nazi-looted objects. The project covered any objects that the museum had acquired between 1933 and 1945. Among the 20,000 objects which the museum acquired during that period,  205 silver objects were identified. All 205 objects originated from Jewish families who were forced to hand over these objects to the municipal pawn office in Munich, from which the municipal museum then acquired the items. After 1945, 57 of these objects were claimed and were restituted to the original owners or their families. The remaining 148 objects remained in the museum and were the subject of this research project. 

 

A total of 66 inventoried items were published by the museum. The book, Spurensuche: Silber aus ehemals jüdischem Besitz im Sammlungsbestand des Münchner Stadtmuseums, contains images of the objects and samples of the museum's related inventory cards. Please click here for further information on the publication.

 

All but three objects listed in the book are also listed on Lostart.de. Click here for the entries on Lostart.de.

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 2014