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Holocaust Era Assets Conference Prague 26-30 June 2009

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The Holocaust Era Assets Conference was held in Prague and Terezin from 26-30 June 2009.

The outcome of the Conference was the Terezin Declaration which was endorsed by the 46 participating governments on 30 June 2009.  The text of the Decaration is available here

A Joint Declaration of the European Commission and the Czech EU Presidency was signed on 29 June 2009 and is available here.  

Full details of the conference, including speeches given, statements made, videos of events and other materials are available on the Conference website, www.holocausteraassets.eu:

To read the keynote speech by Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, click here.

To read the expert papers on looted cultural property click as below:

Patricia Kennedy Grimsted (United States, Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University) - Documenting Looted Art:Perspectives from the Archives of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) Appendix

Petr Bednařík (Czech Republic, Documentation Centre of Property Transfers of Cultural Assets of WW II. Victims) - Archive Research on the Issue of Lost Works of Art in the Czech Republic 

Anne Georgeon-Liskenne (France, French Foreign Office/Archives) - French Archival Sources and Researches About Cultural Jewish Property, Spoiled by Nazis before 1945 

Božena Kovářová (Czech Republic, Moravian District Archive in Brno) - Archival Records in the Moravian District Archive in Brno 

Marc Maurovsky (United States) - A New Paradigm for Restituting Looted Cultural Property

Graham Beal (United States, Detroit Institute of Art) - Four Cases from One Museum, Four Different Results

Agnes Peresztegi (Hungary, Commission for Art) - Recovery, Restitution or Renationalisation

Lynn Nicholas (United States, Independent) - The Washington Principles:Ten Years Later

Jean-Pierre Bady (France, CIVS) - Restitution and Compensation in four Countries of Western Europe: Belgium, France, Luxemburg and Netherlands

Raymond J. Dowd (United States, Dunnington Bartholow and Miller LLP) - Fritz Grunbaum’s Stolen Art Collection:  Legal Obstacles To Recovery

Shauna Isaac (United Kingdom, Sage Recovery) - Technology and the Accessibility of Information

Mečislav Borák (Czech Republic, Documentation Centre of Property Transfers of Cultural Assets of WW II. Victims) - Identification of Works of Art Belonging to the Holocaust Victims and the Possibility of Restitution to the Original Owners

Anna Rubin (United States, Holocaust Claims Processing Office) - Presumptions: Applying Lessons Learned from Compensation Programs

Miriam Friedman Morris (United States) - Artist David Friedmann: A Daughter's Search for Lost and Stolen Art

Angelika Enderlein (Germany, Bundesamt für zentrale Dienste und offene Vermögensfragen) - Introduction of the new database on the "Central Collecting Point Munich" (CPP)

Olaf S. Ossmann (Germany, IAJLJ) -  One Collection, One Persecution, One Deseizin -  but Different ideas of " Just and Fair Solutions" Hurdles in Different National Processes for Heirs of Art Collections

Georg Heuberger (Germany, Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany) - Holocaust - Era Looted Art: A World-wide Overview

Marc-André Renold (Switzerland, The University of Geneva) - The Renewal of the Restitution Process: Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods

Stephen Knerly Jr. (United States, Association of Art Museum Directors) - Selected Issues for American Art Museums Regarding Holocaust Looted Art

Nawojka Cieslinska-Lobkowicz (Poland, Freelance Art Historian and Provenance Researcher) - The Obligation of the State or a Hobby of the Few. The Implementation of the Washington Principles in Poland   Cieslinska_Lobkowicz_Prague-Presentation.ppt (394,5 kB)

Lucian Simmons (United States, Sotheby's) Provenance and Private Ownership: Just and Fair Solutions in the Commercial Art Market

Helena Koenigsmarková (Czech Republic, Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague) - The Experience of the Museum of Decorative Art in Prague with Looted Objects in Its Collection and Their Identification

Monica Dugot (United States, Christie's) - Impact of the Washington Conference Principles on Art Market Practices: Moving the Discussion Forward

Felicitas Thurn (Austria, Dorotheum) - Dorotheum: Provenance Research and Due Diligence in the Art Trade in Central Europe

Carla Shapreau (United States, University of California, Berkeley) - Musical Cultural Property:  The Nazi Era and Post-War Provenance Challenges

Uwe Hartmann (Germany, Arbeitsstelle fur Provenienczrecherche) - Project Related Promotion of Provenance Research in Germany, Taking Stock after the First Year

Sophie Lillie (Austria, Independent) - The Blacklash Against Claimants 

Many news articles about the conference can be found in the news section on this website by clicking here and reviewing articles in the sections for June and July 2009.

The list of participants at the Prague Conference is available here

CONFERENCE OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the Conference were:

The overriding objective, as expressed by the chairman of the Czech Organising Committee, Ambassador Miloš Pojar, was to "mitigate the injustices caused by the Holocaust and other National Socialist wrongs and prevent them from recurring."

The conference programme is set out below:

Program   
 
For the detailed programme for Friday 26 June, click here.
For the detailed programme for Saturday 27 June, click here.
For the detailed programme for Sunday 28 June, click here.
For the detailed programme for Monday 29 June, click here.
For the detailed programme for Tuesday 30 June, click here.

Friday, June 26, 2009 (Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, Žofín Palace)

15:00 Opening of the Exhibition “Memories Returned” (Museum of Decorative Arts)
          By special invitations only.

17:00 Press Conference (Žofín Palace, Small Hall)

18:00 Opening Ceremony (Žofín Palace, Large Hall)

Welcoming Remarks

Musical Perfomance 
  

19:00   Reception 

21:00 Adjourn

Saturday, June 27, 2009 (Prague Congress Centre, Embassies)

For the detailed programme for Saturday 27 June, click here.

10:00– 10:45  Working Group (WG) Looted Art
   Opening Statements

11:00 - 12:30 Thematic Expert Roundtables

 WG Looted Art
“Archives”

WG Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research
“Genocide of the Czech Roma and New Educational Projects in the Czech Republic and Abroad”

12:30 – 13:30 Buffet Lunch

13:30 – 14:00 Exhibition Presentation
 “Library of Rescued Memories”

14:00 – 15:30 Thematic Expert Roundtables (cont.)
 
WG Looted Art
“Restitutions”

WG Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research
“Genocide of the Czech Roma and New Educational Projects in the Czech Republic and Abroad” (cont.)

16:00 – 17:30 WG Looted Art (PCC)
“Feedback: Cooperation of Respective Entities Towards Provenance Research”

19:00 – 21:00 Reception
Hosted by foreign embassies in Prague

Sunday, June 28, 2009 (Prague Congress Centre, Wallenstein Garden)

For the detailed programme for Sunday 28 June, click here.

9:00 – 9:30 Opening Plenary Session (PCC, South Hall)
 
10:00 – 11:30 Concurrent Expert Sessions I

Special Session: Caring for Victims of Nazism and Their Legacy
“History and Perspective of Care Support Provided to Victims of Nazism and Their Legacy”

WG Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research
“Holocaust Education: Experiences Gained and Challenges Ahead”
  
WG Immovable Property (Private and Communal) “Overview and Political Context”

WG Looted Art
“Legal Issues”

WG Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property
“Methodological Questions Concerning the Provenance Research of Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property”

11:30 – 11:45 Coffee Break

11:45 – 13:15 Concurrent Expert Sessions II

Special Session: Caring for Victims of Nazism and Their Legacy
“Responsibility in Partnership: Improving the Social Situation of Victims of Nazism”

WG Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research
“Remembrance, Memorials and Museums”
  
WG Immovable Property (Private and Communal)
“Works in Progress—Examples from Communities”

WG Looted Art
“The Search for Works of Art and Other Cultural Assets – a Business or Hobby?”

WG Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property
“The Distribution of collected Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property after 1945”

13:15 – 14:30 Buffet Lunch
 
14:30 – 16:00 Concurrent Expert Sessions III

Special Session: Caring for Victims of Nazism and Their Legacy
“Legal and Social Status of Victims of Nazism and Maintenance of their Legacy”

WG Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research
“Researching the Holocaust and Access to Archives”
  
WG Immovable Property (Private and Communal)
“Works in Progress—Examples from Communities” (cont.)
 
WG Looted Art
“Provenance Research”

WG Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property
“The Losses from State, Public and Private Collections after 1945”

16:00 – 16:15 Coffee Break

16:15 – 17:45 Concurrent Expert Sessions IV

WG Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research
“The Future of Holocaust Remembrance”

WG Immovable Property (Private and Communal)
“Where do we go from here?”

WG Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property 
“Circulation of Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property of Disputed Ownership”

19:00  Reception (Wallenstein Garden)
 
Remarks:
Přemysl Sobotka, President of the Senate, Parliament of the Czech Republic

Monday, June 29, 2009 (Prague Congress Centre, National Theatre)

For the detailed programme for Monday 29 June, click here.

9:00 – 12:30  Plenary Session (PCC)
          
Reports by Special Session and 4 Working Groups  

Statements by Heads of Delegations

12:30 - 13:30  Buffet Lunch

13:30 – 16:30 Plenary Session (cont.)

Statements by Representatives of NGOs

Statements by Heads of Delegations

16:30   Concluding Remarks:
Yehuda Bauer, Historian, Israel

17:00   Press Conference

19:00   Special Performance (National Theatre)
“Golem 13”
World Premiere of kabalistic drama by George Whyte set to music by Noam Sheriff

Reception

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 (Terezín Memorial)

For the detailed programme for Tuesday 30 June, click here.

7:45 - 8:00 Departure of conference buses from the conference hotels to Terezin.

9:30 Concluding Ceremony (Terezín Memorial, Former Riding Hall)

Terezín Declaration

10:30   Concert
“Defiant Requiem” by Murry Sidlin

12:00   Closing Lunch (Terezín Memorial, Magdeburg Barracks)
Hosted by the European Commission

13:00 Departure of conference buses to Prague (airport and hotels)

13:00 - 15:00 Guided tours of Terezín Memorial (optional)
 


The conference website provides full details of the panels and roundtables which took place on 27 and 28 June.  For:
Looted Art sessions click here;
Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property sessions click here;
Immovable Property sessions click here;
Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research sessions click here;
Caring for Victims of Nazism and Their Legacy sessions click here.

For further details on all other aspects of the conference, click here

 

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