News

Museum hands back Renaissance riches linked to Nazi looters
The Telegraph 4 July 2015
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Klimt Foundation Deal with Heirs of Portrait Owner Comes to Fruition at Sotheby’s
JDSupra 3 July 2015
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A number of US museums fail to address Nazi-looted art claims, says report
Museums Association 3 July 2015
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Why two American museums are fighting to keep art stolen by the Nazis
Washington Post 30 June 2015
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House Passes Bill to Coordinate U.S. Cultural Property Protection
National Law Review 26 June 2015
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Fife artist discovers a ‘Picasso’ in his attic
The Courier 26 June 2015
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Ulmer Museum will Raubkunst zurückgeben - Restitution by the Ulm Museum
Augsburger Allgemeine 25 June 2015
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Report: US museums increasingly evading restitution of Nazi-looted art through legal tactics
AP 25 June 2015
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Restituted works help Sotheby’s lead the way in London sales
The Art Newspaper 25 March 2015
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Nazi-looted painting from Munich fetches £1.865 million
AFP 24 June 2015
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Nazi-looted Liebermann painting goes under the hammer
Deutsche Welle 24 June 2015
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«Sehr viele Bilder gelangten zu Unrecht in die Museen» - "There are a lot of problem paintings in the [Swiss] museums"
Der Landbot 24 June 2015
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»Alle wissen um die Brisanz« - "Everyone's aware of the explosiveness of the issues"
Zeit Kunstverlag 24 June 2015
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Stiftung Oskar Reinhart gibt Raubkunst zurück - Oskar Reinhart Foundation returns looted work of art
Der Landbote 23 June 2015
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How One of the World’s Leading Geneticists Recovered His Family’s Stolen Legacy
Tablet 22 June 2015
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Family appeals ruling in case of Nazi-looted art
Times of Israel 22 June 2015
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UK to adopt Hague Convention to protect artefacts in war zones
BBC 21 June 2015
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Helen Mirren honored for educating about Nazi-looted art
JTA 21 June 2015
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Finance police recover painting looted from Poland by Nazis
La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno 19 June 2015
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Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Clarification Act and the Immunity from Seizure Act—Status Quo Is Often Misunderstood
Art Law Report 15 June 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

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.

Provenienz- und Sammlungsforschung (Vl) - Provenance and Collection Research (Vl), Colloquium, Munich Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, 22 July 2015

For full details, click here.

Publications

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
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.
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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 Struggle for the Files: The Western Allies and the Return of German Archives after the Second World War
February 2014
Astrid M Eckert.
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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.
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

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.


23 June 2015: Restitution of Adolph Menzel pastel to the heirs of Berlin publisher Rudolf Mosse (1843-1920)

    

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.

Jewish Heritage Foundation established to locate, recover, restore and return stolen Eastern European Judaica to its rightful owners

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/

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.

29 May 2015 Provenance Research Grants made by the German Centre for Cultural Property Losses

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.

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.

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.
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