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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.
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.
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.
Erna Felicia and Hans Lachmann-Mosse, Mosse’s daughter and son-in-law, were unlawfully deprived of the drawing, 'Lady with Red Blouse', shortly after the Nazi takeover in Germany in 1933. Oskar Reinhart purchased the pastel from the art dealer Fritz Nathan in Munich in 1934. He had been regularly in touch with Nathan since 1928 and later helped him escape to Switzerland in 1936. He paid 3,632 Swiss Francs, which was a customary price for high-quality drawings by Menzel at the time. In 1940, Oskar Reinhart gave the work to the foundation, which he had established to make his art collection available to the public.
Launched in 2012, the Mosse Art Restitution Project shed light on the circumstances that led to the bankruptcy of the Mosse publishing house as well as to the seizure of the collection and public auction of the objects in 1934 in Berlin. Mosse’s descendants had already left Germany. Due to these new insights, the foundation in its press release, writes that "the foundation board of the Oskar Reinhart Foundation contacted the heirs and offered to restitute the pastel, which had been expropriated from the family in 1934. Oskar Reinhart strictly avoided offers with unclear provenance in the 1930s. The foundation board is convinced that it acts in the interest of the founder by giving back a work that from today's perspective would not have been purchased by Reinhart if he had known about the exact circum-stances of the sale."
To read the full press release issued by the Foundation, click here. All missing works from the Mosse Collection are listed in the Object Database on this site. To review them, enter 'Mosse' into the Name box of the Provenance section on the Search page.
15 June 2015: Established in Boca Raton, Florida, the Foundation has identified some 113 Torah scrolls in Nizhny Novgorod in Russia and states that it is "the only organization that is dedicated to locating, recovering and restoring Judaica to communal and educational uses".
In its description of itself, the Foundation writes: "From 2011 to now, a small group of "regular" Jews from Florida came together with some of the world's leading experts in Holocaust education and museums and a group of Rabbis from Russia, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus and the United States. The timing was right. The Government officials in Russia were cooperative and recognized the importance of restoring the Judaica, which could be used to help strengthen Jewish communities in the own country and bring honor to their country. The result was that The Foundation has successfully located, documented and started to restore 113 Torahs from the Regional Universal Scientific Library of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia."
The Foundation has identified looted Judaica in the following locations:
In Belarus - Torahs, Rare Books, Megilahs, Manuscripts & Silver: in the National Library of Belarus (NBB), the State Museum of History and Culture of Belarus in Minsk, the State Historical Archive, the Historical Museum of Mogileve, and in the Historical Museum of Vitebsk;
In Russia - Torahs, Rare Books, Megilahs, Religious Texts: in the Russian Ministry of Defense Central Archives, in the Special (Osoby) Archive (TsGOA, TsKhIDK), in the Russian State Military Archive & State Historical Museum (GIM), in the Regional Scientific Library In Nizhny Novgorod, in the Regional Library on the Volga.and in the Nizhny Novgorod Art Museum;
In Poland - Torahs, Books, Silver, Ark Curtains & Synagogue Items: in Warsaw’s National Museum, in the Krakow Historical Museum, in the National Musuem in Kielc, in the Historical Museum in Lodz and in the Regional museums in Lublin, Nowy Sacz, Tarnow, Bialoystok, Kazimierz Dolny, Rzeszow, Drohiczyn and Wlodawa;
In Romania - Torahs, Jewish Books and manuscripts;
In Ukraine - Torahs, Rare Books and Manuscripts: the National Vernadsky Library of Ukraine holds 150,000 books and manuscripts dating to the 16th Century
For further details, visit the Foundation's website at http://www.thejewishheritagefoundation.com/
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.
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Culture Minister Monika Grütters has announced the first tranche of grants of 1.15 million euros. New grantees are the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum in Ludwigshafen, the Landesmuseum Mainz, the Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach, the Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe and the Zentrum für Kulturwissenschaftliche Forschung (Centre for Socio-Cultural Research) Lübeck. Recipients of ongoing funding for existing or new projects are the Klassik Stiftung Weimar, the University Libraries of Potsdam and Rostock, the Institute for Ethnology at the Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, the Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden (Institute for the History of German Jewry) in Hamburg, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, the Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte (State Museum for Art and Cultural History) Oldenburg, the Munich Stadtmuseum (City Museum), the Kunsthalle Mannheim, the Municipal Museums Freiburg, the Schlossmuseum Jever and the Heimatmuseum (Local History Museum) in Müllrose. The research will be assessed by the recently formed Research Council under the chairmanship of Dr Hermann Simon of the Centrum Judaicum Berlin. To read the associated press release, click here.
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.
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.
"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.
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 email@example.com.