News

Raubkunst bleibt in Oldenburg - Looted art remains in Oldenburg
NWZ Online 17 April 2014
click for story
Van Gogh Mystery: $100M Nazi Art Collection Leaves Greek Woman Broke
Greek Reporter 16 April 2014
click for story
Kokoschka-Gemälde unter Verdacht - Kokoschka Painting Under Suspicion
Deutsche Welle 16 April 2014
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European Parliament approves new provisions for the return of national treasures
European Commission Press Release 16 April 2014
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Cornelius Gurlitts Pressesprecher schließt Kunstschatz in Bad Aussee definitiv nicht aus! - Cornelius Gurlitt's spokesman does not exclude another art treasure in Bad Aussee
APA OTS 16 April 2014
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"Zum Teil hoch komplizierte Recherchen" - "In part, highly complex research"
Die Welt 16 April 2014
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Spaenle: Provenienzrecherche dauert Jahrzehnte - Spaenle: Provenance research will take decades
FOCUS Online 16 April 2014
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"Es ist ein Marathon" - "This is a Marathon"
Berliner Zeitung 15 April 2014
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Spoliations: attention au sacré
Le Huffington Post 14 April 2014
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Modern Art as Nazi Plunder
New York Times 14 April 2014
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Die Lehren aus dem Fall Gurlitt - Lessons from the Gurlitt Case
Augsburger Allgemeine 14 April 2014
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NS-Raubkunst: Der österreichische Gurlitt - The Austrian Gurlitt
Profil 12 April 2014
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Vienna's philharmonic to return stolen Nazi art
AFP 12 April 2014
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Parzinger will Bildherkunft schnellstmöglich aufklären - Parzinger will clarify the ownership of the painting as quickly as possible
Augsburger Allgemeine 12 April 2014
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Der Geschmack von Asche. Deutschland braucht endlich ein Raubkunstgesetz - The Taste of Ashes - Germany finally needs a new looted art law
Die Welt 11 April 2014
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Vienna Philharmonic Finds Owners of a Nazi Gift
New York Times 11 April 2014
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Holzinger: 'A very good day for Cornelius Gurlitt'
Deutsche Welle 11 April 2014
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Anne Webber Wins ARCA's 2014 Award for Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art
ARCA 10 April 2014
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Litige autour de la restitution d'un tableau de Matisse
AFP 7 April 2014
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Stiftungspräsident Parzinger hängt Kokoschka in eigenem Büro ab - SPK President Parzinger takes of his office wall a possibly looted Kokoschka
Berliner Morgenpost 10 April 2014
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Websites and Resources

Dutch Museums' Provenance Research
Results of 'Museum Acquisitions from 1933' project showing 41 Dutch museums are in possession of at least 139 items with 'problematic' origins.
click to visit
Swiss Looted Art Portal
Opened in June 2013, this government-run site provides details of museums' provenance research, advice on making enquiries, research and claims and links to relevant databases and archives in Switzerland and beyond.
click to visit
WGA-Files - Akten der Wieder- gutmachungsämter von Berlin - Case Records of the Berlin Restitution Offices
Digitised restitution case records of the Berlin Restitution Offices held in the Landesarchiv Berlin, consisting of the record group B Rep 025, Wiedergutmachungsämter von Berlin, containing more than 800,000 files.
click to visit
European Sales Catalogues 1930-1945 Heidelberg University
3,000 digitised auction catalogues including both German-speaking countries and the countries of occupied Europe - Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland - and including every genre of cultural object, from paintings to tapestries to silver and books. Provides the entire texts of auction catalogues. Searchable by auction house, artist, work of art, etc.
click to visit
German Sales Catalogs 1930–1945 at the Getty
More than 2,000 German language sales catalogues published between 1930 and 1945 including more than 230,000 individual auction sales records for paintings, sculptures, and drawings only. Searchable by artist name and nationality, lot title, buyer or seller’s name, city in which the sale occurred, type of subject matter and other fields. Provides only individual lot details, and links to Heidelberg for the full catalogue.  
click to visit
Hermann Goering Collection
Contains 4,263 paintings, sculptures, furniture, tapestries and other art objects, purchased or acquired from confiscated property, many available for restitution today.
click to visit
International Research Portal for Records Related to Nazi-Era Cultural Property
The Portal provides for the first time digital access to millions of cultural property records from the National Archives of the US, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Ukraine, France and other archival sources.  
click to visit

Conferences and Events

Monuments Men: On the Frontline to Save Europe's Art, 1942–1946, Exhibition, Smithsonian Archives of American Art Washington DC, 7 February - 20 April 2014

Personal archives, papers, photographs and recordings of Monuments Men including George Leslie Stout, James J. Rorimer, Walker Hancock, Thomas Carr Howe, S. Lane Faison, Walter Horn, and Otto Wittman. For full details, click here.

The International Forum on the Restitution of Holocaust Era Cultural Assets in Israel, Tel Aviv, 24 June 2014

Organised by the Company for Relocation and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets in Israel, to be opened by Stuart Eizenstat. By invitation only. 

Fluchtgut: Geschichte, Recht und Moral (Flight Assets: History, Law, Morality), International Conference, Museum Oskar Reinhart, Winterthur, 28 August 2014

Organised by the Museum director Dr Marc Fehlmann as part of the forthcoming exhibition 'Max Liebermann and Switzerland'.

Looted Art and Restitution in the Twentieth Century: Europe in transnational and global perspective, Conference, Newnham College Cambridge, 18-20 September 2014

Call for papers by 13 April 2014. For full details, click here.

Dispossession: Plundering German Jewry, 1933-1945 and Beyond, Conference, Boston University, 9-11 November 2014

To read about the conference's aim and focus, click here.

Looted - Recovered: Cultural Goods - The Case of Poland International Specialist Conference, Cracow, 12 -14 November 2014

Organised by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland and the International Cultural Centre. Save the Date - more details to follow. To see the pdf issued, please click here.

Publications

Provenance Research in American Institutions
June 2014
Jane C. Milosch, Lynn H. Nicholas and Megan M. Fontanella (guest editors). A series of essays by American experts, including Nancy Yeide, Christian Huemer and Laurie Stein to be published in June.
read more
Archivist Monuments Man: Lester K. Born
April 2014
Dr Greg Bradsher. The next installment in an ongoing series of posts on real-life Monuments Men.
read more
Die Bilder sind unter uns. Das Geschäft mit der NS-Raubkunst und der Fall Gurlitt
April 2014
Stefan Koldehoff. An updated and revised version of Stefan Koldehoff's 2009 book with a new chapter on the Gurlitt case.
read more
Monuments Men Records at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland
March 2014
Dr Greg Bradsher and Dr Sylvia Naylor.
read more
Ravaged. Art and Culture in Times of Conflict
March 2014
Jo Tollebeek and Eline van Assche (eds.). A publication accompanying the exhibition Ravaged at the M - Museum Leuven.
read more
Reviewing the Agudas Chasidei Chabad v. Russian Federation, et al. Dispute
March 2014
Irina Tarsis and Elizabeth Varner.
read more
The Loss of French Musical Property During World War II: Post-War Repatriations, Restitutions, and 21st Century Ramifications
January 2014
Carla Shapreau. The nature and scope of French music-related losses during the Nazi era, the status of post-war recoveries, and what remains missing today.
read more
Chabad Sacred Texts, Russian-American Art Loans and a Tall Ship named 'Hope': Beyond Cold War over a Restitution Claim?
December 2013
Patricia Kennedy Grimsted. On the claim for the Schneersohn ‘Library’ and ‘Archive’ pending in the US courts.
read more
Livres pillés, lectures surveillées: Les bibliothèques françaises sous l'Occupation
November 2013
Martine Poulain. An updated and revised version of Martine Poulain's 2008 book.
read more
Zwischen Politik und Kunst: Die Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus.
October 2013
Jörn Grabowski, Petra Winter (eds). Between Politics and Art: The State Museums of Berlin in the Time of National Socialism
read more
Monuments Men and Nazi Treasures
October 2013
Dr Greg Bradsher. On the myriad problems faced by US Occupation Forces in sorting out the riches hidden by the Third Reich.  
read more
Mission Michelangelo. Wie die Bergleute von Altaussee Hitlers Raubkunst vor der Vernichtung retteten
September 2013
Konrad Kramar. Mission Michelangelo: How the Miners of Altaussee Saved the Art Looted by HItler from Destruction.
read more
Returned from Russia: Nazi Archival Plunder in Western Europe and Recent Restitution Issues
September 2013
edited by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted, F.J. Hoogewoud and Eric Ketelaar.
read more
L'Irréparable. Itinéraires d'artistes et d’amateurs d’art juifs, réfugiés du Troisième Reich en France
July 2013
Anne Grynberg and Johanna Linsler (eds).
read more
The Art Collecting Legal Handbook
May 2013
Bruno Boesch; Massimo Sterpi, Eds.
read more
Nazi Looted Art and Cocaine: When Museum Directors Take it, Call the Cops
May 2013
Raymond Dowd.
read more
Handreichung
May 2013
Germany Federal Ministry of Culture and Media.
read more

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.

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 full range of developments on the Gurlitt case since the news broke on 3 November, excluding what is on the homepage, 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.

NEW

7 April 2014 Joint Press Release BKM, Bavarian Ministry of Justice and Christoph Edel, Lawyer for Cornelius Gurlitt

"Agreement between the Free State of Bavaria, the Federal Government and Cornelius Gurlitt: Provenance research to continue and restitution in accordance with the Washington Principles on a voluntary basis for the Schwabing Art Trove; Unproblematic works belonging to Mr Gurlitt will be returned.

 

Mr Gurlitt stated his willingness to allow provenance research on a voluntary basis once the works are released from police custody. Mr Gurlitt will allow the Task Force to continue searching the provenance of those works in the trove suspected of having been looted from their owners by the Nazis or of being works the Nazis considered "degenerate art". To this end, these artworks will remain in secure custody and on the website www.lostart.de. However, the Task Force aims to complete the main substance of its provenance research within a year. Works for which the Task Force has not completed provenance research within the year will be returned to Mr Gurlitt. But Mr Gurlitt will ensure continued access to the works for the provenance research to continue. If any claims for restitution have been or could be made, the works will remain in fiduciary custody even after the year has elapsed. Mr Gurlitt can designate at least one researcher to work with the Task Force to ensure his interests are protected.

 

Gurlitt will enable fair and just solutions in accordance with the Washington Principles, in particular by means of restitution, for persons claiming ownership of the works. The agreement makes no provisions regarding the current criminal proceedings. The Federal Government and the Free State of Bavaria will pay for the provenance research, also for any additional works not yet confiscated.

 

Bavarian Minister of Justice Winfried Bausback commented on the agreement as follows: "The Task Force will continue to investigate the origin of the artworks, no matter how the criminal investigation proceeds. This research creates the conditions allowing victims of Nazi terror to assert their claims to the artworks. This is one of my major concerns, because the significance of the Schwabing Art Trove extends far beyond a criminal case with tax relevance. It raises the question of how to deal with these artworks, along with other fundamental issues. These issues have to do with our responsibility to confront Nazi injustice and our responsibility to its victims. The entire world is watching to see how we will answer these questions, and this agreement is a good answer." Minister Bausback continued: "I always felt it was important to speak with Mr Gurlitt and find a mutually acceptable solution for what to do about the artworks. He accepts his moral responsibility, and I respect that." The Bavarian minister of justice concluded by saying, "I would like to thank everyone who was involved in reaching this agreement. I will now inform the chairs of the responsible committees in the Bavarian parliament and will offer to report to their committees."

 

Speaking about the agreement, Minister of State Monika Grütters said, "I am grateful to everyone involved that we were able to guarantee that the Task Force will be able to continue its work of determining the provenance of the Gurlitt collection independent of the ongoing criminal investigation. This agreement creates the necessary basis for fair and just solutions, in particular by means of restitution, as Mr Gurlitt has now explicitly stated. In my view, one reason comprehensive research into the provenance of the Gurlitt collection, which this agreement protects against legal dispute, is so important is that it sends a clear signal within Germany and beyond that we will not allow Nazi injustice to stand, even 70 years after World War II. The experience we have gained from the Schwabing Art Trove will guide the national centre for lost cultural goods which I hope to establish."

 

The lawyer Christoph Edel who was appointed by the court to look after Mr Gurlitt's health, financial and legal affairs, commented as follows: "Today, Cornelius Gurlitt declared his approval of this agreement. In doing so, he has demonstrated exemplary moral responsibility, apart from what we believe to be a clear legal situation. He will have access to the artworks, will be allowed to view the paintings and can designate at least one researcher to work with the Task Force, which is required to maintain strict neutrality. All the works which are not subject to provenance research will be returned to him without delay. The work of the Task Force is limited to determining the provenance of the remaining works within a reasonable amount of time. Works that according to expert opinion were not confiscated by the Nazis will be returned to Mr Gurlitt and deleted from the database at www.lostart.de. This agreement also allows us to proceed with the restitution of relevant works. This continues to be one of our central concerns. I will now present the agreement to the adult guardianship court so that it can determine whether it requires approval."

 

The text of the release is available here.

Video of CBS's 60 Minutes 6 April 2014 on the Gurlitt collection 'Billion-dollar art battle steeped in WWII history'

In a 13'40'' segment on CBS's '60 Minutes' on the Gurlitt case, Morley Safer interviews Ekkeheart Gurlitt, Willi Korte, Vanessa Voigt, Martha Hinrichsem, David Toren, Hannes Hartung, Tildo Park, Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel and Uwe Hartmann. To view it, click on this link. To read the transcript, click here.

Claude Monet and Other Paintings in the Cornelius Gurlitt Collection in Salzburg

Claude Monet's 1903 Waterloo Bridge, Grey Weather, found in Gurlitt's Salzburg house, is part of a series painted by Monet between 1902 and 1904. No. 1562 in the catalogue raisonné by Daniel Wildenstein, published in 1996 by the Wildenstein Institute, there is no provenance given after 1914:

"Purchased from Monet by Durand-Ruel in December, 1905 and sold to Cassirer, Berlin in 1914.
Current whereabouts unknown."

The bibliography reads:
C. Grappe, s.d. [1909], p. 23 (ill.)
Th. Duret, Monet and the French Impressionists, London, 1910, p. 148 (ill.)
W. Weisbach, Impressionismus, Berlin, 1910-1911, II, p. 140, 141 (ill.)
R. Koechlin, «Cl. Monet», Art et Décoration, février 1927, p. 46 (ill.)
D. Wildenstein, 1985, IV, p. 172, 173 (ill.), 369 (lettre n° 1789), 430 (P.J. n°266)

 

Details of the Courbet, Liebermann, Manet and Renoir paintings from the Salzburg collection are available on our site here, with research from the LootedArt.com team and additional information received from Catherine Hickley about the Courbet.

If you have any knowledge of the post-1914 provenance of the Monet or of the provenances of the other paintings, please write to info@lootedart.com.

Billion Dollar Art Battle - 60 Minutes with Morley Safer - 7m ET/PT 6 April 2014

Morley Safer reports the story of the largest cache of missing art since WWII and the battle over its ownership on Sunday, April 6 at 7 p.m. ET/PT. For full details, click here.

UK Spoliation Panel agrees return of Constable painting from the Tate to the Heirs of the Hungarian Owner

26 March 2014: The UK Spoliation Panel today published its long awaited report on the claim for 'Beaching a Boat, Brighton' by John Constable, currently in the Tate Gallery, which acquired it in 1986. The painting, which belonged to a Hungarian collector, was lost in 1945 together with the rest of his extensive art collection. (To read the provenance of the painting, published on this site since 2001, click here.)

The Panel, which agreed the return of the painting to the heirs, is very critical of the Tate, most particularly of its failure to conduct due diligence at the time of acquisition or provenance research in the last 15 years, especially in light of the readily available information about the painting. It does not accept the Tate's claim that it is unreasonable to expect that it should have carried out provenance research in the 1960s when the Tate asserted Holocaust issues were not "prominent in the art world". On the contrary, the Panel writes that the Tate had special knowledge of the works of Constable and that Holocaust related provenance issues were not ignored in the 1980s. Further, the Tate knew of the lengthy gap in provenance and, the Panel states, was under a moral obligation to pursue the possibility that the painting had been the object of spoliation during the war. It would not have been difficult to research it and to establish that it was recorded as looted.


To read the full report, click here.

New Press Release from Cornelius Gurlitt's Legal Representatives

26 March 2014: The press release states that the Salzburg portion of the Cornelius Gurlitt collection is larger than originally thought - 238 works of art have been secured. These include 39 oil paintings, silver vessels, ceramic bowls, and bronze, marble, and iron sculptures (including by Rodin). The first work from the Munich collection considered to be Nazi-looted art is to be returned. Dr Hannes Hartung, the attorney responsible for the art law aspects of the case, has been discharged and claimants are now referred to Mr Gurlitt's attorney, Christoph Edel. To read the press release, click here.

Missing Item of Czech Judaica Returned from the US to the Jewish Community in the Czech Republic

26 March 2014: The Jewish Museum in Prague and the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic announced the restitution of a Torah Ark curtain found in April 2013 in a Judaica auction at Sotheby's New York, having disappeared from the Prague Jewish Museum in 1956. The curtain was donated to the Jewish community of Mladá Vožice, South Bohemia, by Moses and Chayele Liftschitz in 1855. In 1943, it arrived at the Prague Jewish Museum, which was used by the Nazis as a collecting point for Judaica. To read the press release, click here.

Ruling of the German Advisory Commission on the Claim for the Guelph Treasure

20 March 2014: The German Advisory Commission today issued its ruling on the claim for the Guelph (Welfenschatz) Treasure which was made by the heirs of Nazi-era Jewish art dealers. The Commission found against the claim on the grounds that the 1935 sale was not "persecution-induced". To read the ruling in German, click here.

Suit filed by David Toren v Federal Republic of Germany and Free State of Bavaria 5 March 2014

To read the suit filed to recover the Max Liebermann painting, 'Two Riders on the Beach', discovered in the Cornelius Gurlitt collection and which was seized by the Nazis from the collection of David Friedmann of Breslau, please click here

Table of Gurlitt Works of Art posted on www.lootedart.com

4 April 2014: 458 works of art have been posted on lostart.de to date, the last posting being on 15 January.  Despite the commitment to publish more, no statement has been issued by the Task Force to explain why publication has ceased for the last 14 weeks.

Of the 458 works published, 407 are works on paper from artists including Cézanne, Corot, Daumier, Delacroix, Dürer, Gauguin, Guardi, Harunobu, Hokusai, Ingres, Liebermann, Michel, Millet, Munch, Rembrandt and Toulouse-Lautrec. 51 are oil paintings, by artists such as Achenbach, Courbet, Dix, Forain, Heem, Hildebrandt, Huysum, Liebermann, Marstrand, Matisse, Monticelli, Nickelen, Prudhon, Rayski, Renoir, Rousseau, Spranger, Treu, van de Velde, Vernet and Ziem.

 

In order to assist families searching for their lost works of art, we have created a table of all the works posted in alphabetical order by artist, with all provenance information available, and a link to the image. The table is entirely searchable - see sample below. Please click here to see the entire list of works published to date. The table is updated with each new posting on lostart.

Sample of Table:

Artist

Title and medium
Provenance
Boudin, Eugène
Entry on Lostart.de click here
Gesellschaft am Strand
(Company on the beach)
Watercolour

 

Reverse: Exhibited in Werke der frz. Malerei u. Grafik des 19. Jh. catalogue nr. 4, as ‘Gesellschaft am Strand’, at Villa Hügel, Essen 1954 (Museum Folkwang Essen)
Delacroix, Eugéne
Entry on Lostart.de click here
Löwin
(Lioness)
Drawing
Reverse: Exhibited in Werke frz. Malerei und Grafik des 19. Jh. catalogue nr. 40, as 'Löwin', at Villa Hügel, Essen 1954 (Museum Folkwang, Essen)

 

Gurlitt Case

For the full range of developments on the Gurlitt case since the news broke on 3 November, excluding what is on the homepage, but including government press releases, Allied documents 1945-1950, the text of the proposed Lex Gurlitt, etc, click here. For all news stories, see the News Archive. For all other materials, including ALIU reports, etc, search 'Gurlitt'.

Online Resources and Case News
Country-specific information is available on this site for 48 countries, from Albania to Yugoslavia, in the Information by Country section. Details of important, non country-specific, online resources are available in the International section of the site which contains several categories of information.  For example: 

Case News: provides details of claims and cases ruled on or settled outside the courts with copies of reports and rulings. Full details of a comprehensive range of cases can be found in the News Archive, which is fully searchable by name of family, artwork, museum, city, etc.


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 info@lootedart.com.

© website copyright Central Registry 2014