Official Bodies and Reports:

Research Group: Looted Art: Provenance Research and Restitution in the Netherlands

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The Group announced its formation on 3 September 2022 and has a page on the website of the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture. The text provided is reproduced below:


This research group is dedicated to provenance research and restitution of looted art in the Netherlands.

Description of the research group:

The spoliation of art during the Nazi-era and the Holocaust is the central focus of this research group. However, we extend it to colonial and other contexts as well. The group is concerned with research on the looting of objects itself, as well as on questions of restitution.

Provenance research is a highly fragmented field, as it is guided by diverging interests. Therefore, the members of our research group are from different areas: museum professionals, archivists, claimants, lawyers, etc. The frequent exchange among each other about current issues in provenance research is our main goal.

As an inclusive research group, we are interested in a variety of approaches: apart from applied provenance research and juridical restitution, we address memory, holocaust and genocide studies, and museological, curatorial and cultural heritage perspectives.

Envisaged Results: 

The main goal of the research group is to organize lectures, expert meetings and discussions on a regular basis, about ongoing (PhD) research and other current issues.

Societal relevance:

More than 75 years after World War II, the question of restitution of Nazi-spoliated art is still far from complete. Righting the wrong done to Jews and other social groups is still subject of debate. For museums and the art market, provenance research has become increasingly important as a means to avoid legal conflicts.

The research group connects World War II-related looted art and restitution with colonial and other contexts. Obviously, recent discussions about the colonial past emphasize the importance of creating the connection. Today, we are not only confronted with objects which were translocated in the past, but looting is still happening on a large scale, such as the theft of antiquities in war situations. Looted art and its subsequent restitution remains an unsolved issue in many ways.

Research Group Type: Project and network group

Coordinator: 

Prof. dr. G.M. (Gregor) Langfeld
Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Kunstgeschiedenis
G.M.Langfeld@uva.nl +31 (0) 20 525 3021

Members of the research group:

Emma van Benthem (student assistent research group, UvA)
Hester Bergen (independent researcher)
Ruud Breteler (PhD Candidate, OU)
Dr. Evelien Campfens (Universiteit Leiden)
Julie-Marthe Cohen (Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam)
Carolijn Crombag (independent researcher)
Eline van Dijk (LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur)
Prof. em. Rudi Ekkart (UU)
Merel van Erp (Rijksmuseum)
Dr. Jeroen Euwe (EUR)
Prof. Nicole Immler (UvH)
Ingrid Jacobs (PhD candidate, OU)
Helen B. Junz (independent researcher)
Pim Kievit (independent researcher)
Christine Koenigs (independent researcher)
Annelies Kool (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed)
Julia Krikke (Van Gogh Museum)
Prof. Rob van der Laarse (UvA)
Frank van Lamoen (Stedelijk Museum)
Ina Lieshout (independent researcher)
Sarah-Mae Lieverse (independent researcher)
Bas Mühren (Kröller-Müller Museum)
Leah Niederhausen (UU)
Dr. Tabitha Oost (UvA)
Nadine Pinto (UvA)
Erika Prins (independent researcher)
Julia Rickmeyer (Sotheby’s)
Helen Schretlen (independent researcher)
Perry Schrier (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed)
Lisette Sulenta (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed)
Sophia Thomassen (Van Gogh Museum)
Aurora Wilson Dyer Gough (UU)



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