Guidelines :

Guidelines concerning the implementation of the Joint Declaration February 2001 (Handreichung vom Februar 2001) Revised November 2007 and May 2013

Title
Guidelines (February 2001, revised November 2007)concerning the implementation of the "Joint Declaration by the Federal Government, the Länder (Federal States) and the National Associations of Local Authorities on the tracing and return of Nazi-confiscated art, especially Jewish property" of December 1999.
Handreichung vom Februar 2001 uberarbeitet im November 2007 zur Umsetzung der 'Erklärung der Bundesregierung, der Länder und der kommunalen Spitzenverbände zur Auffindung und zur Rückgabe NS-verfolgungsbedingt entzogenen Kulturgutes, insbesondere aus jüdischem Besitz' vom Dezember 1999

Revised and Updated Handreichung published in Germany May 2013
10 May 2013: German Culture Minister Bernd Neumann announced the publication of a revised and updated Handreichung, the guide to the implementation of the 1999 Joint Declaration by the Federal Government, the Länder (Federal States) and the National Associations of Local Authorities.: "On the 80th anniversary of the Nazi book burnings, we want to make it clear that the work on Nazi art theft in the future is a lasting commitment." He added: "The search for Nazi-confiscated art and the formulation of fair and equitable solutions in restitution issues are a major concern of the Federal government. Thanks to the new initiative in provenance research which I initiated in 2008, with two million euros annually available, knowledge about the background and mechanisms of seizure as well as the perpetrators and their victims has grown. This knowledge, will now be made more widely available through the new Handreichung." 

First published in 2001
, the Handreichung was written to assist institutions in identifying Nazi-confiscated cultural property in their collections and to provide guidance on dealing with claims. It lists institutions and individuals involved in art looting and forced sales at the time of the Nazi regime, both in Germany and abroad, provides details of identifying marks such as stamps and labels, lists of firms used to transport seized art, information on relevant municipal, federal and state archives in Germany and other valuable resources. To access the Handreichung, click here.

Description of Original Publication 2001
Compiled by a working group composed of representatives of the Bund, the Länder (Federal States) and National Associations of Local Authorities as well as representatives from museums, libraries and archives, the Guidelines are designed to help German cultural institutions to implement the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art and the Joint Declaration by the Federal Government, the Länder (Federal States) and the National Associations of Local Authorities on the tracing and return of Nazi-confiscated art, especially Jewish property (December 1999).

The 90-page document is intended to assist institutions in identifying Nazi-confiscated cultural property in their collections and to provide guidance on dealing with claims.  It provides instructions on how to identify objects that may have been looted or confiscated and lists institutions and individuals involved in art looting and forced sales at the time of the Nazi regime, both in Germany and abroad.  There are guidelines for verifying whether a work of art was 'Nazi-confiscated' and for preparing decisions on restitution claims.  The appendices include a sample return agreement.

The Guidelines are available in German and English.   To read or download the German version, click here.  To read or download the English version, click here.  Although the Guidelines were written for public institutions, independent institutions and private individuals are encouraged to adhere to them as well.

Individual institutions are requested to inform the Coordination Office for Lost Cultural Assets (Koordinierungsstelle für Kulturgutverluste) of their provenance research results, so that they can be published on the Lost Art Internet Database, the German government website.

The Lost Art Internet Database also provides supplementary material to the Guidelines listed below.  This is added to as new research is undertaken:
Jewish collectors and art dealers
 (Victims of Nazi persecution and expropriation ) 
Database of art and cultural property auctions 1933-1945
  • Outsourcing and relocation sites for looted treasures
  • Departments and responsible for the systematic and organized Nazi cultural plunder
  • Individuals and entities involved in the Nazi cultural plunder (Trading , brokerage , appraisal , transportation, etc. )
  • Activity and reviews for Provenance Research
  • Laws, archives and sources
  • Glossary
  • Chronology

    Any questions and suggestions regarding the Guidelines should be addressed to the Referat K13 (Return of Cultural Property) at the Federal Commissioner of Cultural and Media Affairs.

    Contact Information
    Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für Angelegenheiten der Kultur und der Medien
    (Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs)
    Referat K13 (Return of Cultural Property)
    Bundesallee 216-218
    10719 Berlin
    Tel: +49 (0) 1888/ 681 4205 or 4206


    Source

    Guidelines (February 2001, revised November 2007) concerning the implementation of the "Joint Declaration by the Federal Government, the Länder (Federal States) and the National Associations of Local Authorities on the tracing and return of Nazi-confiscated art, especially Jewish property" of December 1999. (Handreichung vom Februar 2001 uberarbeitet im November 2007 zur Umsetzung der 'Erklärung der Bundesregierung, der Länder und der kommunalen Spitzenverbände zur Auffindung und zur Rückgabe NS-verfolgungsbedingt entzogenen Kulturgutes, insbesondere aus jüdischem Besitz' vom Dezember 1999)

    Referat K13 (Return of Cultural Property), Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für Angelegenheiten der Kultur und der Medien (Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs)

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