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Justice Matters: Restituting Holocaust-Era Art and Artifacts Jerusalem 19-20 May 2008

An International Symposium in conjunction with the exhibitions Orphaned Art: Looted Art from the Holocaust in the Israel Museum, and Looking for Owners: Custody, Research, and Restitution of Art Stolen in France during World War II at the Israel Museum and Auktion 392: Reclaiming the Galerie Stern Duesseldorf (from the Ben Uri, the Jewish Museum of Art, London) at the Hebrew University Mount Scopus was held on 19-20 May in Jerusalem. The Symposium was sponsored by the Max Stern Estate and organized in collaboration with Concordia University, Montreal, Canada  and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The programme is set out below and also available here.


Monday, May 19
Senate Hall, the Hebrew University, Mount Scopus

4:30–6 pm

• Prof. Menachem Magidor, President of the Hebrew University

• Dr. Clarence Epstein, Special Advisor to the Executors of the Estate of Dr. Max Stern, Office of the President, 

  Concordia University, Montreal

• James S. Snyder, Director, the Israel Museum

• David Glasser, Chair, Ben Uri Gallery, London

• Prof. Gannit Ankori, Head of the Art History Department, the Hebrew University


Restitution: Against Closure, Against Moving On

Prof. Catherine MacKenzie, Department of Art History, Concordia University, Montreal

6–6:45 pm


Private viewing of the exhibition Auktion 392

At the Max and Iris Stern Gallery, Humanities Faculty

Tuesday, May 20 The Youth Wing Auditorium, the
Israel Museum

9:30–11 am

JRSO: A Story of Rescue and Custody

Moderator: Inka Bertz, The Jewish Museum, Berlin

• Broken Shards: Mordechai Narkiss and the Rescuing of Jewish Ceremonial Objects Ariela Amar, The Jewish Art   Center, the Hebrew University

• A Safe Haven: JRSO Objects in the Israel Museum's Judaica Exhibition Chaya Benjamin, Curator in the Judaica Department, the Israel Museum

• Two Portraits, Two Eras: The Tale of the Rothschild Portraits Shlomit Steinberg, Curator of European Art, the Israel Museum


Pillage and Plunder

Moderator: Shlomit Steinberg, the Israel Museum

• Looting Art in the Name of an Ideology: A Historical Perspective Richard Cohen, Department of Jewish History, the Hebrew University

• The Mechanics of Cultural Plunder in Wartime France and the Private Art Market Marc J. Masurovsky, The Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC

12–1 pm

Guided tour of the Orphaned Art and Looking for Owners exhibitions

1–2 pm
Lunch break

2–4 pm

Provenance Research and Results

Moderator: Thomas R. Kline, Partner, Andrews Kurth LLP Assistant Professorial Lecturer, George Washington University  
• The Case of Degas's Four Dancers Meira Perry-Lehman, Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings,

the Israel Museum

• Due Diligence Matters: Why Museums Hesitate Amy Walsh, Curator of European Paintings, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

• Ten Years after the Washington Conference: A Résumé of Gains and Losses Willi Korte, Art investigator, lawyer, and historian, Washington DC

• Ten Years of Washington Principles in France and Germany: A Success Story? Claudia von Selle, Lawyer, Berlin and Paris

4–4:30 pm
Coffee break

4:30–6:30 pm

On Looted Art and Restitution

Moderator: Catherine MacKenzie, Concordia University, Montreal

• Restitution Roulette: The Daunting Odds of Recovering Artworks Decades after the Nazi Era

Marilyn Henry, Author and journalist, New York

• Nazi Art Loot in Postwar Germany Inka Bertz, Curator of Art, The Jewish Museum, Berlin

• Art Restitution in Austria Sophie Lillie, Independent scholar, Vienna

Closing Remarks

James S. Snyder, Director, the Israel Museum