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Welcome to lootedart.com
This site contains two fully searchable databases.
The Information Database contains information and documentation from forty nine countries, including laws and policies, reports and publications, archival records and resources, current cases and relevant websites.
The Object Database contains details of over 25,000 objects of all kinds – paintings, drawings, antiquities, Judaica, etc – looted, missing and/or identified from over fifteen countries.
All images on the site are published under fair use conditions for the purpose of criticism and research.
For a list of Essential Website Links, showing all key research sites and resources,click here.
For details of international resources, see below, Online Resources and Case News.
For the Gurlitt collection at the Kunstmuseum Bern, click here. For the full range of developments on the Gurlitt case, click here. For all news stories, see the News Archive. For all other materials, including ALIU reports, etc, search 'Gurlitt'.
To subscribe to our looted art newsletter, click here.
The decision concerns the painting Old Man with Beard by Salomon Koninck (1609-1656).
At the beginning of the Second World War the painting was sold by the art gallery Firma D. Katz in Dieren to the German Alois Miedl, who shortly before had taken over the Amsterdam gallery J. Goudstikker N.V. The work was then sold on to an art buyer acting for Adolf Hitler’s proposed Führer Museum.
In an exhibition catalogue produced by Katz in 1939, the entry about the Salomon Koninck work mentions ‘Stettiner, Paris’ as one of the former collections. According to the applicants this refers to the Jewish Stettiner family and/or the Stettiner et Cie. gallery in Paris.
No information was found during the Restitutions Committee’s investigation about the moment at which the painting left the possession of ‘Stettiner, Paris’.
The Restitutions Committee concluded that the right of ownership of the Stettiner family and/or the Stettiner et Cie. gallery in Paris during the period relevant to the restitution application is not highly probable, and it therefore advised the Minister to reject the applicants’ claim to the artwork.
To read the full report, click here.
The government appointed independent review of the UK Panel praises the work of the Panel to date and makes several recommendations. These include that the membership be refreshed, that further members from the museum and fine arts sectors be added, that the Terms of Reference remain the same but that the conduct of museums not be considered relevant in assessing a claim, that a "fast-track, small claims procedure" be established, and that "legitimate public comments by members [of the panel] is incompatible with membership". To read the Report, click here. To read the UK Culture Minister's response to the recommendations, click here.
In June 2011 the City of Ghent turned down the claim of the von Klemperer heirs to the painting, now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent. The panel it had appointed concluded that the painting was not sold under pressure and that its ownership by Ghent was indisputable both in Private International Law and in the context of post-war Allied and West German restitution laws.
Professor Flamée, a distinguished Belgian lawyer, has analysed the decision, examining whether the panel correctly drew the line between fairness and arbitrariness in accordance with the Washington Principles. He questions whether the panel should have been tasked with combining the two different approaches, 'positive law' and 'fairness', looks at whether the panel took into account all known facts and whether, when taken into account, a different decision might have been reached. He investigates who bears the burden of proof and for which facts, and queries whether any part of the burden should have rested on the claimant. Finally, he explores the concept of fairness and how the prescription of fairness derived from Washington might apply to works of art acquired prior to 1998.
The study, is published by kind permission of Professor Flamée. To read it, click here. The original decision of Ghent is available here.
Images published under fair use conditions for the purpose of criticism and research.
The Central Registry is keen to solicit information and views about the handling of claims, whether at the point of submission, the process of consideration or the point of decision. There are few guidelines in most countries and museums, and the decision-making process is not often obvious or transparent. The Central Registry wishes to shed light on the experience of those submitting claims and those assessing claims. It will treat all information provided in confidence and will publish compilations of its findings, subject to stipulations of confidentiality, in an ongoing series. To contact us, please write in confidence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read the complaint filed for restitution of the Guelph Treasure in the US District Court, which includes the supporting evidentiary documentation, click here.
The plaintiff, a corporation, requested that a search request for a painting be deleted from lostart.de, maintaining that the painting was confiscated from them due to Nazi persecution. There was an independent second search request on lostart.de by the successors of a Jewish bank for the same painting who also claimed that the painting had been looted from them. The painting was located in Namibia and its current possessor and the first applicant (the corporation) agreed to auction off the painting and split the proceeds. The painting, however, was then withdrawn from the auction after the Koordinierungsstelle refused to take the painting off the lostart.de database without the consent of the second applicant (the Jewish bank).
The German court of first and second instance had decided in favour of the first applicant (the corporation). They found that the mandate of the database was fulfilled once the painting was located so that upholding the search request on the database would interfere with the rights of the first applicant (the corporation). However, on 19 February 2015 the Federal Administrative Court of Germany reversed the decisions of the courts of prior instance and dismissed the complaint of the plaintiff, judging that the plaintiff does not have a claim under public law and that the search request did not become unlawful with the discovery of the painting as there was no certainty yet as to fate and history of the painting.
To read the ruling of the court and a full English summary of the case and the ruling, click here.
"Our goal is for you to be able to walk down any street in Europe and learn the Holocaust history of that specific place."
Tracing the Past is a non-profit organization based in Berlin and launched at the end of October 2014 dedicated to the research and memorialization of the persecuted in Europe 1933-1945. Its first project has been to create a database from the 1939 German Minority Census. As a result, approximately two-thirds of the nearly 170,000 Shoah victims from Germany are now searchable for the first time by residential street address here.
Mapping the Lives is a proposed project dedicated to creating biographies, online maps and smartphone applications pinpointing the residential street addresses of all known victims of the Nazi Regime who were persecuted for reasons of race, religion, political views, resistance, sexual orientation, social orientation, and physical or mental incapacity.
Lawsuits: provides details of claims and cases ruled on or being settled in court with copies of court filings and judgements.
Research Resources: provides details of family records, tracing services, art historical resources, texts of post-war reports, and books and publications.
Web Resources: provides details of various online databases of looted paintings, results of provenance research in countries around the world, archival records available online and other research materials.
Seeking Owners of Identified Looted Property: provides lists of names of individuals whose looted property has been identified in institutions in Germany and whose heirs are being sought.
Other categories of information include Governmental Conferences and Hearings, Laws, Policies and Guidelines, Art Trade, and Press, Television, Radio and Film. To explore all these sections, click here.
The site is regularly updated with new resources and developments. To provide details of resources or cases to add to the site, please email email@example.com.