News

A hit and a miss in two restitution cases
The Art Newspaper 19 August 2014
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"Zwei Reiter am Strand" wahrscheinlich NS-Raubkunst - "Two riders on a beach" likely to be Nazi-looted art
Trierischer Volksfreund 19 August 2014
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Jäger verlorener Schätze - Hunters of lost treasures
Goethe Institut 19 August 2014
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Steuergelder für Gurlitt-Erbe? - Taxpayers' money for Gurlitt bequest?
Berner Zeitung 18 August 2014
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Schweriner Museum zeigt Ausstellung „Kunstraub - Raubkunst“ - Schwerin Museum hosts exhibition "Art theft - stolen art"
FOCUS Online 18 August 2014
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Karl-May-Museum gegen Ureinwohner: Der Streit um die Skalpe von Radebeul - Karl-May-Museum versus Native Americans: The dispute about the scalps of Radebeul
Spiegel Online 18 August 2014
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Zweites Gemälde aus Gurlitt-Fund als Raubkunst anerkannt - Second painting in Gurlitt trove deemed to be looted art
WDR 18 August 2014
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Lost in Translation: Germany’s Fascination With the American Old West
New York Times 17 August 2014
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Gurlitt Task Force Issues Second Public Recommendation, Urges Restitution of Liebermann painting to David Toren - Lawsuit Not Over Yet
Art Law Report 15 August 2014
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Gurlitt Task Force Sides with Nazi Victim
Artnet News 15 August 2014
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German Experts Say Max Liebermann Painting Was Nazi Loot
Wall Street Journal 15 August 2014
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Oldenburg sammelt Raubkunst von Privat - Oldenburg collects looted art from private collections
Norddeutscher Rundfunk 14 August 2014
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Quadro rubato dai nazisti nel ’43 a Verona, recuperato a Napoli nel 2014 - Painting looted by the Nazis in 1943 in Verona, recovered in Naples in 2014
Blitz Quotidiano 13 August 2014
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Painting lost after Second World War returned to Poland
The Art Newspaper 13 August 2014
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«Das Kunstmuseum hat keine Gesamtstrategie» - 'The Kunstmuseum has no overall strategy'
Berner Zeitung 10 August 2014
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The murky world of the art detective
The Times 9 August 2014
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Kämpfe, Konsolidierung und die Beschränkung des Blicks - Struggles, Consolidation and Limitation of Vision
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 9 August 2014
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Achenbach-Gemälde ist zurück in Breslau - Achenbach painting returns to Breslau
Spiegel Online 7 August 2014
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France’s Supreme Court Rejects Austrian Restitution Claim
Artnet News 7 August 2014
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Sind Regensburger „Grazien“ Raubkunst? - Is Regensburg 'Graces' Looted Art?
Mittelbayerische 4 August 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
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

Fluchtgut: Geschichte, Recht und Moral - Flight Assets: History, Law, Morality, International Conference, Museum Oskar Reinhart, Winterthur, 28 August 2014

Organised by the Museum director Dr Marc Fehlmann as part of the forthcoming exhibition 'Max Liebermann and Switzerland'. To read the programme, click here.

Raubkunst? Provenienzforschung zu den Sammlungen des MKG, Exhibition, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, 12 September - 1 November 2014

For further information on the special exhibition click here.

Looted Art and Restitution in the Twentieth Century: Europe in Transnational and Global Perspective, Conference, Newnham College, Cambridge, 18 - 20 September 2014

For additional information on the conference and to register, click here. For the full conference programme, click here.

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

Organised by La Ville de Liège, Les Musées de Liège, l’Université de Liège, MNEMA and Les Territoires de la Mémoire. For full details on the exhibition click here. For further information on the the Université de Liège website click here.

Kunstraub | RaubkunstExhibition, Galerie Alte & Neue Meister, Schwerin, 24 October 2014 - 1 February 2015

For further information on the exhibition click here.

Art Law Day, New York University Kimmel Center, 7 November 2014

Organised by the Appraisers Association of America. For the conference programme, click here. To register for the event, click here.

Dispossession: Plundering German Jewry, 1933-1945 and Beyond, Conference, Boston University, 9-11 November 2014

To read about the conference's aim and focus, click here.

Looted - Recovered: Cultural Goods - The Case of Poland International Specialist Conference, Cracow, 12 -14 November 2014

Organised by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland and the International Cultural Centre. Save the Date - more details to follow. To see the pdf issued, please click here.

Publications

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
Provenance Research in American Institutions
June 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 to be published in June.
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 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.
read more
Chabad Sacred Texts, Russian-American Art Loans and a Tall Ship named 'Hope': Beyond Cold War over a Restitution Claim?
December 2013
Patricia Kennedy Grimsted. On the claim for the Schneersohn ‘Library’ and ‘Archive’ pending in the US courts.
read more
Livres pillés, lectures surveillées: Les bibliothèques françaises sous l'Occupation
November 2013
Martine Poulain. An updated and revised version of Martine Poulain's 2008 book.
read more
Zwischen Politik und Kunst: Die Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus.
October 2013
Jörn Grabowski, Petra Winter (eds). Between Politics and Art: The State Museums of Berlin in the Time of National Socialism
read more
Monuments Men and Nazi Treasures
October 2013
Dr Greg Bradsher. On the myriad problems faced by US Occupation Forces in sorting out the riches hidden by the Third Reich.  
read more
Mission Michelangelo. Wie die Bergleute von Altaussee Hitlers Raubkunst vor der Vernichtung retteten
September 2013
Konrad Kramar. Mission Michelangelo: How the Miners of Altaussee Saved the Art Looted by HItler from Destruction.
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, excluding what is on the homepage, 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

Schwabing Art Trove Task Force Press Release on Liebermann "Two Riders on the Beach" from Gurlitt Collection

18 August 2014: The Schwabing Art Trove Task Force issued a press release stating that they classify the 1901 Max Liebermann "Two Riders on the Beach" as Nazi looted art. It was lost by David Friedmann as a result of  the Nazi era and the work should therefore be returned to his heirs. The role of the Task Force for this work is now concluded and it is up to Cornelius Gurlitt's legal heirs to decide on further action. To read the German press release, click here.

“Tainted Trove: Gurlitt’s Hidden Collection” 30 August 2014 at 7 p.m. ET on Ovation

This episode of the six-part series Raiders of the Lost Art discusses the discovery of a large collection of missing masterpieces in the home of Cornelius Gurlitt, son of the Nazi-era art dealer, Hildebrand Gurlitt. Commissioned by the Third Reich, his father collected art for Hitler’s Fuhrermuseum and managed to save the modern art works the Nazis deemed “degenerate.” The episode explores how Hildebrand Gurlitt acquired works by Matisse and Picasso and kept them hidden from the world for more than a half century. Further information can be found here.

More Works from the Munich Estate of Cornelius Gurlitt Handed Over to the Schwabing Art Trove Task Force for Research

24 July 2014: The Schwabing Art Trove Task Force released a statement that additional works of art, one painting and an unspecified number of sculptures, had been found in the Munich apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt. Initial examinations indicate that one sculpture is likely by Edgar Degas and another could be by Auguste Rodin. The works were first turned over to the Munich Probate Court. The court-appointed administrator of the Gurlitt estate in turn asked the Task Force to review the works for Nazi looted art.

 

Head of the Task Force Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel stated that, following an investigation, all newly discovered works will be posted on the database Lostart.de as quickly as possible.

 

To read the press release in German, click here.

Münchner Stadtmuseum Researches and Publishes Silver Objects from Former Jewish Ownership

 

 

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.

Provenance Research: Nazi Looted Art in German Museums Broadcast on Deutschlandfunk

Experts discuss the implications of the Gurlitt Case for the field of looted art and restitution, including the possible future role of the proposed Bavarian ‘Lex Gurlitt’.

 

The broadcast can be accessed here.  

Koenigs collection Kiev claim rejected

23 June 2014: The Dutch Restitutions Committee has advised Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker to reject a claim to a part of the Koenigs collection which was returned from Kiev, Ukraine, in 2004. This advice has been accepted.

 

The advice issued on 14 April 2014 concerns 139 drawings and three etchings from the pre-war art collection of the banker Franz Wilhelm Koenigs. The artworks were returned from Kiev, Ukraine, to the Netherlands in 2004 and are currently part of the Dutch National Art Collection (NK collection). They are in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam on long-term loan.

 

Franz Koenigs was a German-born banker who settled in Haarlem in the nineteen-twenties and was later granted Dutch nationality. He built up an important art collection in the Netherlands. In 2005 a granddaughter of Franz Koenigs submitted an application for the restitution of the 142 works.

 

According to the Committee it has not been made sufficiently plausible that Franz Koenigs's loss of possession is directly related to the Nazi regime. In this regard it has judged that the transfer on 2 April 1940, in other words before the German invasion, by Franz Koenigs (who was not Jewish) of his collection to the bank, established in the Netherlands, to which he owed a debt that had become payable is of prime importance. The artworks did not get into the hands of the Nazis until after this transfer and after a subsequent sale to a Dutch buyer.

 

The full text of the Restitutions Committee's recommendation can be read here.

 

The Koenigs claimants have issued their own press release in response to the decision. To see the press release, click here.

 

UK Spoliation Panel agrees return of the Biccherna Panel from the British Library

After careful consideration, the Spoliation Advisory Panel’s opinion was that the just and fair resolution of the claim is the transfer of the Biccherna Panel by the British Library Board to the Claimants in accordance with the provisions of the Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act 2009.

 

The Panel concluded that the Biccherna Panel formed part of an inventory owned by a Munich art gallery, of which the Claimants are the surviving heirs of the Jewish shareholders, and that the sale of the Gallery’s contents in 1936 by the Aryanised Berlin auction house of Paul Graupe in response to an extortionate tax demand, constituted a forced sale. To read the full report, click here.

UK Spoliation Panel agrees return of three Meissen figures from the Victoria and Albert Museum to the Estate of Emma Budge

The Spoliation Advisory Panel found that, following the death of Mrs Budge in 1937, her art collection was sold by the Aryanised Jewish auction house of Paul Graupe and her family was deprived of the proceeds of the sale.

 

The Panel’s recommendation is that the Victoria and Albert Museum should offer to return the figures to the Estate of Mrs Budge, given the circumstances of their loss. However, given that Mrs Budge expressed a wish that, following her death, some or all of her art collection should go to museums in Germany or abroad, the Panel has invited the Executor of the Estate to consider whether it would be appropriate for one of the Meissen figures to remain in the possession of the Victoria and Albert Museum. To read the full report, click here.

Arbeitsstelle für Provenienzforschung in Berlin supports 20 research projects on Nazi-looted art in German museums, libraries and archives

The Arbeitsstelle für Provenienzforschung in Berlin (AfP) granted the support for 20 research projects to identify Nazi-looted art in German museums, libraries and archives with funding totalling circa 2 million Euros at their meeting on 27 May 2014. Since its foundation in 2008, the AfP has supported the research of more than 90,000 works of art and cultural objects in 71 museums and over half a million books and prints in 22 libraries.

 

The following institutions will be supported to further their provenance research:

  1. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek,München
  2. Freie Universität Berlin –Universitätsbibliothek
  3. Germanisches Nationalmuseum,Nürnberg
  4. Hamburger Kunsthalle
  5. Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden,Hamburg
  6. Jüdisches Museum Berlin
  7. Kunstgeschichtliches Seminar der Universität Hamburg
  8. Kunsthalle Mannheim
  9. Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz
  10. Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg
  11. Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin –Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  12. Museen der Stadt Bamberg
  13. Museum im Kulturspeicher Würzburg
  14. Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel
  15. Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Oldenburg
  16. Potsdam Museum –Forum für Kunst und Geschichte
  17. Staats-und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen
  18. Technische Universität Berlin –Universitätsbibliothek
  19. Wallraf-Richartz Museum & Fondation Corboud, Köln
  20. Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, München

To read the German press release, click here.

Schwabing Art Trove Task Force Press Release on Matisse "Seated Woman" from Gurlitt Collection

11 June 2014: The Schwabing Art Trove Task Force issued a press release stating that they believe the 1921 Matisse painting "Seated Woman" is Nazi looted art and was stolen from Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg. The Task Force advised that the painting should be restituted. However, the final decision regarding restitution lies with the heirs of Cornelius Gurlitt, who had agreed to abide by the Washington Principles shortly before his death. To read the German press release, click here

Publication of List of Consignor Names from Adolf Weinmüller Auction Catalogues on www.lootedart.com

In order to assist families searching for their lost works of art, we have created a table of all consignor names from the Munich and Vienna auction catalogues of Adolf Weinmüller. The family names are listed in alphabetical order with links to the relevant catalogues. The table is entirely searchable.

 

Please click here to see the entire list of family names published to date.

Table of Gurlitt Works of Art posted on www.lootedart.com

4 April 2014: 458 works of art have been posted on lostart.de to date, the last posting being on 15 January.  Despite the commitment to publish more, no statement has been issued by the Task Force to explain why publication has ceased for the last 14 weeks.

Of the 458 works published, 407 are works on paper from artists including Cézanne, Corot, Daumier, Delacroix, Dürer, Gauguin, Guardi, Harunobu, Hokusai, Ingres, Liebermann, Michel, Millet, Munch, Rembrandt and Toulouse-Lautrec. 51 are oil paintings, by artists such as Achenbach, Courbet, Dix, Forain, Heem, Hildebrandt, Huysum, Liebermann, Marstrand, Matisse, Monticelli, Nickelen, Prudhon, Rayski, Renoir, Rousseau, Spranger, Treu, van de Velde, Vernet and Ziem.

 

In order to assist families searching for their lost works of art, we have created a table of all the works posted in alphabetical order by artist, with all provenance information available, and a link to the image. The table is entirely searchable - see sample below. Please click here to see the entire list of works published to date. The table is updated with each new posting on lostart.

Sample of Table:

Artist

Title and medium
Provenance
Boudin, Eugène
Entry on Lostart.de click here
Gesellschaft am Strand
(Company on the beach)
Watercolour

 

Reverse: Exhibited in Werke der frz. Malerei u. Grafik des 19. Jh. catalogue nr. 4, as ‘Gesellschaft am Strand’, at Villa Hügel, Essen 1954 (Museum Folkwang Essen)
Delacroix, Eugéne
Entry on Lostart.de click here
Löwin
(Lioness)
Drawing
Reverse: Exhibited in Werke frz. Malerei und Grafik des 19. Jh. catalogue nr. 40, as 'Löwin', at Villa Hügel, Essen 1954 (Museum Folkwang, Essen)

 

Gurlitt Case

For the full range of developments on the Gurlitt case since the news broke on 3 November, excluding what is on the homepage, but including government press releases, Allied documents 1945-1950, the text of the proposed Lex Gurlitt, etc, click here. For all news stories, see the News Archive. For all other materials, including ALIU reports, etc, search 'Gurlitt'.

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