Prague centre plans permanent exhibition of Nazi-confiscated art

Prague Daily Monitor 5 October 2016

Prague, Oct 4 (CTK) - The Documentation Centre for Property Transfers of Cultural Assets of WW II Victims, seated in Prague, wants to prepare a permanent exhibition of items, mostly works of art, confiscated during the Holocaust.

Public institutions in the Czech Republic own many pieces of former Jewish property. Only a very small part of these items is exhibited and most of them are stored in depositories.

The work on the permanent exhibition of the confiscated property and on the presentation of identified items is scheduled for 2019 when the Centre will stage an international conference on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Washington Declaration and the 10th anniversary of the Terezin Declaration.

At the Washington Conference on Holocaust Era Assets in December 1998, representatives of 44 countries, including the Czech Republic, signed the principles of tackling problems related to art confiscated by the Nazis. By signing subsequent agreements, the Czech Republic pledged to create a central database and an information centre focused on the stolen works of art.

At a conference held in the Czech Republic in 2009, the Terezin Declaration stated the need to continue with research work on the Nazi-confiscated art not only in public but also private institutions and to make the results available to the public.

The Czech Documentation Centre for Property Transfers of Cultural Assets of WW II Victims was established in 2001. It has an annual budget of 14 million crowns and it is supervised by the Culture Ministry. The Czech government will discuss the Centre's plans for 2017-2021 probably at one of its meetings this month.

The Centre also helps people searching for their family property that was confiscated during the Holocaust.

The Centre thoroughly examined the archive of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. It plans to cooperate with the National Technical Museum and the National Museum of Agriculture.
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