Restitution Reports:

Restitution Report 1999/2000: Second Report from the Federal Minister for Education, Science and Culture to the National Council regarding the Restitution of Works of Art from Austrian Federal Museums and Collections (Restitutionsbericht 1999/2000: 2. Bericht der Bundesministerin für Unterricht und kulturelle Angelegenheiten an den Nationalrat über die Rückgabe von Kunstgegenständen aus den Österreichischen Bundesmuseen und Sammlungen)

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Title
Restitution Report 1999/2000: Second Report from the Federal Minister for Education, Science and Culture to the National Council regarding the Restitution of Works of Art from Austrian Federal Museums and Collections (Restitutionsbericht 1999/2000: 2. Bericht der Bundesministerin für Unterricht und kulturelle Angelegenheiten an den Nationalrat über die Rückgabe von Kunstgegenständen aus den Österreichischen Bundesmuseen und Sammlungen)

Description
The Second Report is available here and on the website of the Commission for Provenance Research.

According to the 1998 Federal State Act on the Return of Cultural Objects from Austrian Federal Museums and Collections, the Federal Minister for Education, Science and Culture is required to issue a yearly report to inform the National Council (i.e. Lower Chamber of the Austrian Parliament) on the restitution of works of art. The First Restitution Report was published on 27 October 1999 and covers restitutions made between 9 December 1998 and 18 August 1999. The second Report covers restitutions between 27 October 1999 and 28 November 2000, and the third one covers restitutions made between 29 November 2000 and 1 October 2001.

The reports are effectively an annual review of the activities of the Commission for Provenance Research. The Commission was created in March 1998 by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (formerly the Federal Ministry for Instruction and Cultural Affairs) The draft for the 1998 Federal State Act was prepared during the first months of the Commission and drew on this initial research. The Commission for Provenance Research is under the direction of Professor Dr. Ernst Bacher and its central office is located at the Federal Office of Historical Monuments (Bundesdenkmalamt), where the greatest number of archival materials on art looting and restitution in Austria are located. Members of the Commission's staff work in the Federal Museums and Collections and in the National Library of Austria. If restitution cases arise from their research, dossiers are submitted to an Advisory Council created by the 1998 Federal State Act on the Return of Cultural Objects. The Advisory Council was constituted on 9 December 1998 and is based at the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture. It examines the research dossiers and forwards recommendations on restitutions to the Federal Ministers for Defence; Economy and Labour, and Education, Science and Culture, who act on them.

Because the 1998 Federal State Act is restricted to Federal Museums and Collections, the Reports only cover restitutions from the following institutions: the Albertina (Graphic Arts); the Museum of Military History (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum); the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art Historical Museum, which also includes the Museum of Anthropology (Museum für Völkerkunde) and the Theatre Museum); the Museum of Applied Arts (Museum für Angewandte Kunst or MAK), the Museum of Modern Art-Ludwig Foundation Vienna (Museum Moderner Kunst-Stiftung Ludwig Wien); the Museum of Natural History (Naturhistorisches Museum); the Belvedere (Österreichische Galerie Belvedere), the Austrian Museum of Folk Art and Folk Life (Österreichisches Museum für Volkskunde), the Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek), the Federal Museum of Pathology and Anatomy (Pathologisch-anatomisches Museum) and the Technical Museum (Technisches Museum) and the Federal Furniture Collection. So far, several Austrian regions (Bundesländer) have followed suit and have established Restitution Commissions which issue their own restitution reports. The municipality of Vienna is a good example.

The Federal Restitution Reports can also be downloaded from the website of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture (Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur).  The reports up to 2000/2001 are only available in German.  Subsequent reports are available in German and English.

Report Summary:
This is the second in the series of Restitution Report and covers restitutions made between 27 October 1999 and 28 November 2000. Research on works of art which entered the Federal Collections during or as a result of the Nazi terror regime has continued uninterrupted since the publication of the First Report and it involves more cases than previously anticipated ("Es handelt sich dabei um wesentlich mehr Fälle als ursprünglich angenommen").

The Report notes that so far most cases dealt with concern objects which became federal property legally, but had previously been subject to a legal transaction during the Nazi regime which was annulled by the Nullity Act of 15 May 1946. There have also been several cases of works of art and items of cultural property held back under the provisions of the Export Ban and which entered Austrian Federal Museums and Collections as "gifts" or "donations" The Advisory Council has not yet dealt with a case which fitted the third of the three main scenarios listed in the 1998 Federal State Act on the Return of Cultural Objects, i.e. “abandoned” property which became federal property.

Advisory Council:
For the term from 5 December 1999 to the 4 December 2000, the Federal Minister for Education, Science and Culture appointed the following persons as members of the Advisory Council: The chairperson was Dr. Rudolf Wran (Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture). The members were Ministerialrat Dr. Peter Parenzan (Federal Ministry for Economy and Labour), Dr. Peter Zetter (Advocate General, Federal Ministry of Justice), Dr. Manfred Kremser (Vice President, Procurator-Fiscal), Prof. Dr. Artur Rosenauer (University of Vienna), Prof. Dr. Helmut Konrad (Karl-Franzens-University, Graz), Prof. Dr. Manfried Rauchensteiner (Director, Museum of Military History). The deputy members were: Oberrätin, Dr. Verena Starlinger (Federal Ministry for Economy and Labour), Oberstaatsanwältin Dr. Sonja Bydlinski (Federal Ministry of Justice), Oberrat Dr. Gottfried Toman (Procurator-Fiscal), Prof. Dr. Ernst Bruckmüller (University of Vienna), Prof. Dr. Götz Pochat (Karl-Franzens University, Graz), Christoph Hatschek, M.A. (Museum of Military History), Ministerialrat Dr. Georg Freund (Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture)(who is also the office head as per § 3 of the Advisory Council’s internal rules of procedure).

The Advisory Council met on six occasions during the period covered by the Second Restitution Report to examine and discuss the documentation submitted by the Commission for Provenance Research. It then provided the Federal Minister of Instruction and Cultural Affairs with expert opinion on the restitution cases listed below. On the basis of this, the Federal Ministers made use of their authorisation to transfer ownership under the provision of § 2 par. 1 of the 1998 Federal State Act on the Return of Cultural Objects by the cut-off date 28 November 2000. The list below shows the collections from which objects were restituted in the period covered by the Second Restitution Report and on occasion also names the federal collections which returned them. Full details of the restituted objects (artist/title or brief description(decorative arts/furniture), Federal Museum/Collection restituted from, inventory numbers) are provided in the German original of the Report.

Restitution Decisions (listed in the order given by the Report):

I. To the heirs of Anton Graf Lanckoronski:
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien:
6 objects

II. To the heirs of Elizabeth Bondy:
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien:
1 object

Museum of Military History:
1 print by J.C.G. Fritzsch

III. To the heirs of Hugo Breitner:
Federal Furniture Depository (Imperial Furniture Collection):
4 objects

IV. To the heirs of Wilhelm Goldenberg
Federal Furniture Depository (Imperial Furniture Collection):
17 objects or object groups, including 4 paintings and 1drawing

V. To the heirs of Dr. Siegfried and Irmgard Kantor
The Albertina Collection of Graphic Arts:
1 drawing by Gustav Klimt

VI. To the heirs of Moritz König
Federal Furniture Depository (Imperial Furniture Collection):
7 objects, including 3 paintings and 3 prints

VII. To the heirs of Oskar Pöllner
Federal Furniture Depository (Imperial Furniture Collection):
4 objects

VIII. To the heirs of Paul Weisz
Federal Furniture Depository (Imperial Furniture Collection):
10 objects, including 8 paintings

IX. To the heirs of Ernst Pollak (also Pollack)
Museum for Applied Arts:
9 objects

X. To the heirs of Livia and Otto Brill
The Albertina Collection of Graphic Arts:
8 works in total, including 2 works by Moritz von Schwind, 2 works by Rudolf von Alt, and 1 work each by Max Slevogt, Anton Faistauer, Anton Hanak and Karl Spitzweg.

XI. To the heirs of Clarice (Alphons) Rothschild
Museum of Military History:
2 objects

XII. To the heirs of Viktor Ephrussi
Federal Furniture Depository (Imperial Furniture Collection):
14 objects including 3 paintings

XIII. To the heirs of Emil Stiassny
Federal Furniture Depository (Imperial Furniture Collection):
64 objects, including 13 paintings, prints and drawings

XIV. To the heirs of Hans and Hedwig Schwarz
Federal Furniture Depository (Imperial Furniture Collection):
14 objects, including 1 painting

National Library of Austria:
6 objects, including 4 books, 1 map and 1 engraving  by C.W. Bock

XV. To the heirs of Valerie Eisler
The Albertina Collection of Graphic Arts:
1 drawing by Johann Ziegler

XVI. To the heirs of Anton Redlich
Museum for Applied Arts:
7 objects

XVII. To the heirs of Alexander Friedrich Rosenfeld
National Library of Austria:
Letters and literary estate

XVIII. To the heirs of Heinrich Rothenberger
Museum for Applied Arts:
18 objects

The Albertina Collection of Graphic Arts:
2 works in total, i.e. 1 work each by Johann Ziegler and Carl Schütz

XIX: To the heirs of Rudolf Bittmann
The Albertina Collection of Graphic Arts:
2 works (ivory miniatures) in total, i.e. 1 each by Moritz Daffinger and Robert Theer each by Moritz Daffinger and Robert Theer

Belvedere Gallery: 1 ivory miniature by Moritz Daffinger

XX. To the heirs of Henri und Pauline Grünzweig
The Albertina Collection of Graphic Arts:
1 ivory miniature by Laurent Grünbaum

XXI. To the heirs of Richard Weinstock
National Library of Austria:
1 work by Gabriel Bodenehr the Younger

XXII. To the heirs of Leo Fürst
Kunsthistorisches Museum:
624 coins from the Coin Collection

XXIII. To the heirs of Moritz Kuffner
Kunsthistorisches Museum:
1 object

National Library of Austria:
Books (32 inventory numbers)

XXIV. To the heirs of Siegfried Laemmle
The Albertina Collection of Graphic Arts
:
6 objects, including 1 work each by Francesco Bartolozzi, Johann Evangelist Holzer, Jean Paul Kolbe, Gilles Marie Oppenord, Carl Remshar and Franz Scheidel

XXV. To the heirs of Jenny Steiner
Belvedere Gallery:
1 work by Gustav Klimt

XXVI. To the heirs of Nora Stiasny
Belvedere Gallery:
1 work by Gustav Klimt

XXVII. To the heirs of Hermine Lasus
Belvedere Gallery:
2 works by Gustav Klimt

XXVIII. To the heirs of Josefine Winter
The Albertina Collection of Graphic Arts:
1 work by Rudolf von Alt

Source
Restitution Report 1999/2000: Second Report from the Federal Minister for Education, Science and Culture to the National Council regarding the Restitution of Works of Art from Austrian Federal Museums and Collections (Restitutionsbericht 1999/2000: 2. Bericht der Bundesministerin für Unterricht und kulturelle Angelegenheiten an den Nationalrat über die Rückgabe von Kunstgegenständen aus den Österreichischen Bundesmuseen und Sammlungen) <http://www.bmukk.gv.at/medienpool/8182/Restitutionsbericht_2.pdf>, accessed 6 July 2007.

Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture (Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur) <http://www.bmukk.gv.at/kultur/bm/restber.xml >, accessed 6 July 2007.

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