20 Years of the Washington Principles: Roadmap to the Future, Conference, Berlin, 26-28 November 2018

Events and Conferences

Conference hosted by the German Lost Art Foundation to mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Washington Principles In cooperation with the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States.

Published 6 August 2018:

Specialist Conference "20 Years Washington Principles: Roadmap for the Future"

 Location Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Organizer German Lost Art Foundation, Magdeburg

To mark the 20th an­niver­sary of the adop­tion of the Wash­ing­ton Prin­ci­ples, the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion is con­ven­ing an in­ter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence of spe­cial­ists, 20 Years Wash­ing­ton Prin­ci­ples: Roadmap for the Fu­ture, at the “Haus der Kul­turen der Welt” in Berlin from Novem­ber 26 to 28, 2018. Pre­cise­ly twen­ty years af­ter 44 na­tions and nu­mer­ous NGOs agreed up­on the “Wash­ing­ton Prin­ci­ples on Nazi-Con­fis­cat­ed Art,” renowned ex­perts will as­sess progress-to-date, dis­cuss chal­lenges in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Wash­ing­ton Prin­ci­ples, and iden­ti­fy new tasks for the fu­ture. The spec­trum of just and fair so­lu­tions will be a fo­cal point. An­oth­er will be the ques­tion of how to im­part and hand on to fol­low­ing gen­er­a­tions the con­cerns of the Wash­ing­ton Prin­ci­ples, with the goal of per­ma­nent­ly and con­tin­u­ous­ly in­te­grat­ing the Prin­ci­ples in­to a cul­ture of re­spon­si­bil­i­ty and re­mem­brance.

A di­verse, bilin­gual pro­gram of pan­el dis­cus­sions, talks, and lec­tures di­vid­ed four sec­tions – 20 Years Af­ter Wash­ing­ton: An Eval­u­a­tion; Just And Fair So­lu­tions; Prospects And Progress; and Ed­u­ca­tion and Re­spon­si­bil­i­ty – will be the fo­cus of the first two days. Prax­is-ori­ent­ed work­shops on se­lect top­ics will be of­fered on the third day. Please note: On­line reg­is­tra­tion for par­tic­i­pa­tion at the work­shops is re­quired. The work­ing lan­guage is En­glish. There will be no trans­la­tion.

Con­fer­ence lan­guages: Ger­man and En­glish. Si­mul­ta­ne­ous in­ter­pre­ta­tion will be of­fered on Novem­ber 26 and 27, 2018. On Novem­ber 28, no trans­la­tion will be of­fered.

Con­fer­ence Pro­gramme:

English version:20 Years Wash­ing­ton Prin­ci­ples: Roadmap for the Fu­ture

German version: 20-Jahre-Washingtoner-Prinzipien-Wege-in-die-Zukunft

Reg­is­tra­tion for the con­fer­ence com­mences on Au­gust 20 through Oc­to­ber 12, 2018. On­line reg­is­tra­tion on­ly. Ac­cess to the reg­is­tra­tion will be post­ed at in due time.

Haus der Kul­turen der Welt
John-Fos­ter-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin

The con­fer­ence is fund­ed by the Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion­er for Cul­ture and the Me­dia. It is held in co­op­er­a­tion with the Prus­sian Cul­tur­al Her­itage Foun­da­tion and the Cul­tur­al Foun­da­tion of the Ger­man Fed­er­al States.

Programme Outline

nformation as of July 2018.

Program is subject to mistakes and alterations.

A Message of Welcome

Coming to terms with the legacy of Nazi art theft and studying the fates of the mostly Jewish vic- tims continue to be extremely important tasks for our entire society. When I took office in December 2013, I made these tasks a priority of my cultural policy and promoted the founding of the German Lost Art Foundation to serve as a central point of contact for implementing the 1998 Washington Principles.

Twenty years after the conference in Washington which formulated those principles, it is now time not only to take stock but also to draw up a roadmap for our action in the future. It continues to be crucial to investigate the provenance of artworks in order to do justice to the tragic fates associated with them. Provenance research also adds to our knowledge of the National Socialist terror regime. Extremist trends today demonstrate how important it is to remain aware of the impact of totalitarian rule. We must not slacken our efforts to research and study and to share what we learn with coming generations.

I am very grateful that the conference »20 Years Washington Principles: Roadmap for the Future« has taken on this task. I hope this conference inspires lively discussions which offer new perspectives on this matter which is so important to all of us.

Monika Grütters, MP
Minister of State for Culture and the Media


Hosted by Cilly Kugelmann and Shelly Kupferberg

November 26, 2018

 9:30 a.m.    Registration

10:30           Welcome Coffee 


11:00         Bernd Scherer, Haus der Kulturen der Welt

11:05         Monika Grütters, MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Media

11:20         H. E. Richard A. Grenell Ambassador of the United States of America


11:30         Keynote Speech: 

Twenty Years of the Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art: Joint Mission, Common Goals, but Still No Conclusion.  Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, Chairman of the Commission for Art Recovery

11:50          Washington Principles 1998 to 2018. Where Are We Today? Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat

12:10 p.m.  20 Years Washington Principles: Taking Stock  Gilbert Lupfer, German Lost Art Foundation

12:25 p.m.   Provenance Research in Different Types of Collections  Bénédicte Savoy

12:50           Discussion 

1:00             Lunch Break 

2:30             Germany’s Coming to Terms with the Past and the Washington Principles  Magnus Brechtken

2:55             Discussion 

3:10            1998 to 2018 – National Developments 

Panel Discussion: Jan Bank (NL), Tony Baumgartner (GB), Christoph Bazil (AT), James Bindenagel (USA), Michael Franz (DE), Uwe Hartmann (DE), Isabelle le Masne de Chermont (FR)

4:10            Coffee Break 

4:40 p. m.   Development and Potential of the Advisory Commission 

A Conversation with Hans-Jürgen Papier and Agnes Peresztegi

5:10           The Descendants’ Perspective: Just and Fair Solutions 

Almost Lost: One Family’s Experience with Restitution, Reunion and Reconciliation. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Anneke de Rudder

The Mosse Art Restitution Project: A Collaborative Approach. Roger Strauch

Just a Children’s Book? Walter Lachmann and the Restitution of a Children’s Book to a Holocaust Survivor. Annette Gerlach

Belated Compensation. Arthur Goldschmidt’s Almanac Collection in the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek in Weimar. Jürgen Weber

Siegfried Lämmle’s Legacy: A Story of Restitution and Reconnection. Nina and Rex McGehee

6:25           The Range of Just and Fair Solutions 

Panel Discussion: Colette Avital, Wesley Fisher, Hermann Simon

6:55           Discussion

Evening Program

7:30 – 9:00  Get Together with Drinks and Snacks 


November 27, 2018 

9:00 a.m     Registration 

9:30            Welcome Coffee 


10:00         H. E. Ambassador Anne-Marie Descôtes, France

10:10         Minister Avraham Nir-Feldklein, Embassy of the State of Israel

10:20 a.m.  (Digital) Working Culture: 

Between Ambition and Reality  Leonhard Weidinger

10:35          20th Anniversary of the Washington Principles: What Have We Learnt and Are these Lessons Transferable? Hermann Parzinger

10:50          Provenance Research: The Diversity within a Federal State  Bernhard Maaz

11:05          The Gurlitt Affair between Jerusalem and Berlin: In the Spirit of Doing the Right Thing. Shlomit Steinberg

11:20           PREP – Building a Provenance Research Network  Jane Milosch

11:35           Provenance and Restitution as Subjects of Academia 

Panel Discussion: Meike Hoffmann, Gesa Jeuthe, Antoinette Maget  Dominicé, Ulrike Saß, Matthias Weller, Christoph Zuschlag Hosted by Stephanie Tasch

12:20 p.m.   Discussion

12:45           Lunch Break 

2:15 p. m.    Washington Principles 2018: Perspectives of Young People from Europe A Cooperation with the EUSTORY Next Generation Summit 2018 of the Körber Foundation

2:35           Communication as a Mission! 

 »Looking for Owners«. France-Israel: One Project, Two Approaches Laurence Sigal

»Herkunft verpflichtet!« Communicating Provenance Research at the Landesmuseum Oldenburg Rainer Stamm

The Met Collection Online: Transparency and Accessibilty Christel Force

3:20           Discussion 

3:35           What Remains of the Shoah?  New Forms of Remembrance Culture Rüdiger Mahlo

3:55           On the Eve of Departure: Objects, Families, Stories  Edmund de Waal

4:15           Discussion 

Conference Conclusions 

4:35           Conclusions of an Observer  Ellinor Landmann, Journalist, Swiss Radio and Television (SRF)

4:55           Washington Principles: Breaking New Ground with Transparency and Communication Gilbert Lupfer, German Lost Art Foundation


November 28, 2018 WORKSHOPS 

These workshops are intended to facilitate expert exchange on selected topics and are limited to 50 participants each.

Online registration is required. The working language is English. There will be no translation.


8:30 a.m.    Registration 

9:30 – 12:30 Workshop A: »Curating Provenance Research« Workshop B: »Provenance Research and Data Protection Laws«

12:30 p.m.    Registration

1:30 – 4:30   Workshop C: »Provenance Research in Education« Workshop D: »Genealogy and Heir Search« 

Speakers and Hosts

Colette Avital Ambassador, Chairperson, Center Organization of Holocaust Survivors in Israel Jan Bank former member, Restitutions Committee, Netherlands Tony Baumgartner Board, Spoliation Advisory Panel, Great Britain Christoph Bazil Head, Abteilung Denk- malschutz und Kunstrückgabeangelegenheiten Bundeskanzleramt, Austria James Bindenagel Head, Center for International Security and Governance (CISG), Henry-Kissinger-Professor, Universität Bonn Magnus Brechtken Deputy Director, Institut für Zeitgeschichte München – Berlin Becki Cohn-Vargas Descendant of Marcus Heinemann Anne-Marie Descôtes H. E. Ambassador of France Stuart Eizenstat Ambassador Wesley Fisher Director of Research Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc., New York Christel Force Associate Research Curator, Modern and Contemporary, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Michael Franz Head of Department for General and Administrative Matter, German Lost Art Foundation Annette Gerlach Head, Landesbibliothekszentrum Rheinland-Pfalz Richard A. Grenell Ambassador of the United States of America  Monika Grütters MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Chairwoman of the Foundation Board, German Lost Art Foundation Uwe Hartmann Head of Department for Provenance Research, German Lost Art Foundation Meike Hoffmann Project Coordinator, Forschungsstelle »Entartete Kunst«, Mosse Art Research Initiative (MARI), Freie Uni- versität Berlin Gesa Jeuthe Assistant Professor, Liebelt Professor- ship for Historical and Contemporary Provenance Research, Kunst- geschichtliches Seminar, Universität Hamburg Cilly Kugelmann Consultant for the new permanent exhibition, Jüdisches Museum Berlin Shelly Kupferberg Journalist Ellinor Landmann Journalist, Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF) Ronald S. Lauder Ambassador, President of the World Jewish Congress, Chairman of the Commission of Art Recovery Isabelle le Masne de Chermont Head of Manuscript Department, National Library, Paris Gilbert Lupfer Executive Board, German Lost Art Foundation, Head of Research and Scientific Cooperation, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden Bernhard Maaz General Director, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München Antoinette Maget Dominicé Assistant Professor for Values of Cultural Property and Provenance Research, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Rüdiger Mahlo Representative, Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc., Frankfurt Nina and Rex McGehee Descendants of Siegfried Lämmle Jane Milosch Director, Provenance Research Education Program, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D. C. Avraham Nir-Feldklein Minister, Embassy of the State of Israel Hans-Jürgen Papier Chair, Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property Hermann Parzinger President, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz Agnes Peresztegi President, Commission for Art Recovery, New York Anneke de Rudder Historian Ulrike Saß Assistant Professor for Provenance Research in Art History, Kunsthistorisches Institut, Universität Bonn Bénédicte Savoy Professor, Technische Universität Berlin/Collège de France Bernd Scherer Director, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin Laurence Sigal Executive Director, Foundation of French Judaism, Founding Director, Museum of Art and History of Judaism, Paris Hermann Simon Chairman, Funding Committe, German Lost Art Foundation Rainer Stamm Director, Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Oldenburg Shlomit Steinberg Hans Dichand Senior Curator of European Art, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem Roger Strauch Head, Mosse Art Restitution Project, President, Mosse Foundation Stephanie Tasch Department Head, Kulturstiftung der Länder Edmund de Waal Artist and Writer Jürgen Weber Deputy Director, Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek, Weimar Leonhard Weidinger Historian and Provenance Researcher, Vienna, Chairman, Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung e.V. Matthias Weller Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Professorship, Civil law, art and cultural property protection law, Universität Bonn Christoph Zuschlag Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Professorship, Art history for modern and contemporary art with focus on provenance research/history of collecting, Universität Bonn

Registration – First Come, First Served

Registration Period: August 20 – October 12, 2018


Original Text May 2018:

Exactly two decades after more than 40 countries and many non-state organizations adopted the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art in 1998, the German Lost Art Foundation is organizing a specialist conference entitled “20 Years Washington Principles: Challenges for the Future”.
We kindly ask you to put the dates of
November 26 to November 28, 2018
in your diary. An invitation will follow at a later date.
The conference will be held at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt,
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10,
10557 Berlin, Germany.
It will be followed by workshops on November 28. The venue for these will be announced in due course prior to the event.
Conference languages: German and English. Simultaneous interpretation will be offered.
Beginning with a look back at the Washington Conference of 1998, the conference aims to discuss the developments that have taken place in the individual countries since then, in order to address a number of questions for the future: What spectrum is there for fair and just solutions? How can open gaps in provenance be dealt with? What does provenance research need in order to be able to work effectively? How can its methods be used adequately in education and training, in exhibitions and in museum communication? And above all: What contribution to a culture of remembrance can provenance research achieve?
The Foundation will publish further information and details about the conference throughout 2018 on its website
The conference will be held in cooperation with the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States.
Please feel free to forward this announcement to your contacts.
The German Lost Art Foundation is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

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