“Between Fairness and Justice for Successors and Possessors”—an Upcoming Conference at the Oskar Reinhart Museum in Winterthur

Art Law Report 24 August 2015
By Nicholas O'Donnell


I won’t be in the neighborhood, but the Oskar Reinhart Museum in Winterthur (Switzerland) is putting on a conference for the second year in a row on August 31. 2015 wrestling with the issue of “flight goods” in particular.  “Flight goods” refers to property that was not stolen outright, nor sold under duress, but left behind because of a flight in haste from persecution.  Awareness has increased in recent years about this as a category of looted property to be addressed.  As with other categories, issues of law, morality, and the rights of subsequent good faith owners/possessors make for interesting discussions.  Notable presenters include Matthias Frehner, whose Kunstmuseum Bern is grappling with the Gurlitt bequest, and Anja Heuss, whose Staatsgalerie Stuttgart recently restituted a work to the heirs of I. Rosenbaum.  All the speakers and topics look excellent.

From the program (translations are mine):

Moderation: Dr. Stephanie Tasch, Dezernentin Kulturstiftung der Länder, Berlin (Deputy Mayor, Cultural Foundation of the Federal States, Berlin)

8.30 Registrierung (Registration)

9.00 Begrüssung und Eröffnung (Greetings and Opening)

Dr. Marc Fehlmann FRSA, Direktor (Director) Museum Oskar Reinhart, Winterthur

Claudius Ochsner, Präsident des Kunsthandelsverbandes der Schweiz (President of Art Dealers Association of Switzerland)

9.30 Fluchtkunst/Raubkunst (Flight goods/looted art): «The usual suspects»

Walter Feilchenfeldt, Zürich

10.00 Theorie vs. Praxis. Erfahrungen im Umgang mit belasteten Provenienzen (Theory and Practice: Experiences in Handling Problematic Provenances)

Dr. Johannes Nathan, Berlin/Zürich

10.30 Restitution von Fluchtgut – Warum nicht? Eine juristische Bestandsaufnahme (Restitution of Flight Goods: Why not?  A Legal Survey)

Prof. Dr. Georg Graf, Universität Salzburg

11.00 Pause

11.30 Fluchtgut gleich Raubkunst? Der Umgang des Kunstmuseums Bern mit dem Erbe von Cornelius Gurlitt (Flight goods the Same as Looted Art? The Approach of the Kunstmuseum Bern with the Heirs of Cornelius Gurlitt)

Dr. Matthias Frehner, Kunstmuseum Bern

12.00 Die Aufnahmekriterien im Zuge der LostArt Dokumentation (The Criteria for Inclusion in the “Lost Art” Documentation Center)

Dr. Andrea Baresel-Brand, Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste

12.30 – 14.00 Mittagspause

14.00 Fluchtgut ohne Grenzen? Fälle von Fluchtgut in der Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (Flight Goods Without Borders?  Cases of Flight Goods in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart)

Dr. Anja Heuss, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

14.30 Fluchtkunst/Raubkunst: Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede (Flight Goods/Looted Art: Similarities and Differences)

Prof. Dr. Peter Raue, Berlin

15.00 Pause

16.00 Podiumsdiskussion (Podium Discussion)

Fluchtgut: Zwischen Fairness und Gerechtigkeit für Nachkommen und heutige Besitzer (Flight Goods: Between Fairness and Justices for Successors and Current Possesors)

Dr. Thomas Buomberger, Historiker/Journalist, Winterthur

Dr. Sibylle Ehringhaus, Provenienzforscherin/Kunsthistorikerin (Provenance researcher/art historian), Berlin

RA Alexander Jolles, Zürich

Lic. phil. Esther Tisa-Francini, Museum Rietberg, Zürich

RA Olaf Ossmann, Winterthur

Moderation: Karin Salm, Radio SRF 2 Kultur

18.00 Ende der Veranstaltung (end of meeting)
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