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National Fund Art Database

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Title
National Fund Art Database

Description
On 17 October 2006 the National Fund launched an Art Database at http://www.kunstrestitution.at/ in German.  An English version of the Art Database was launched on 3 July 2007 at http://www.artrestitution.at/.  The Art Database provides detailed information and images of “heirless” objects of art and objects of cultural value which are likely to have been expropriated in Austria during National Socialism and which then became public property.

The Art Database is designed to enable victims of National Socialist art theft worldwide to search the museums and collections of the Republic of Austria and the City of Vienna for seized objects eligible for restitution.  It contains a catalogue organized according to categories with currently some 8,500 objects of art which are located in museums and collections of the Republic of Austria and the City of Vienna.  The inventory is continuously updated.  Each object is described in detail and with an image where possible, and there is information on the restitution procedure. Most of the published objects are subject to art restitution procedures and claimants who have identified art objects may claim them with the assistance of the National Fund.    

Where identification does result in specific claims, claimants are referred to the Commission for Provenance Research at the Federal Office of Historical Monuments (Bundesdenkmalamt) where their claims are processed. The National Fund also assists the Commission for Provenance Research by searching for heirs in its databases and asking them to contact the Commission.

The 1998 Federal Act on the Restitution of Artworks from Austrian Federal Museums and Collections states that objects which cannot be returned because the original owners or their heirs cannot be identified are to be handed to the National Fund. Following the example of the 1996 Mauerbach sale, the National Fund may put them up for auction, the proceeds of which would be utilised in accordance with the Fund's aims (see above).  For more information on the Mauerbach sale, please see the articles by Josefine Leistra and Hector Feliciano in Spoils of War 3 (1996).

Further information on the National Fund and application forms and details are available in German and English on the National Fund's website. The National Fund also administers the General Settlement Fund for Victims of National Socialism (Allgemeiner Entschädigungsfonds für Opfer des Nationalsozialismus) set up in 2001.


Contact Information
National Fund
Parlament
Dr. Karl-Renner-Ring 3
A-1017 Vienna
Tel: +43 (0)1 408 12 63
Fax: +43 (0)1 408 03 89
Email: kunstdatenbank@nationalfonds.org
Art Database www.artrestitution.at

National Fund www.en.nationalfonds.org
 

Source
National Fund Press Release Art Database 4 July 2007 (contact: presse@nationalfonds.org)

 

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