The German Lost Art Foundation is the national and international contact partner for all matters pertaining to the illegal seizure of cultural assets in Germany in the 20th century. The main activities of the Foundation focus on cultural assets confiscated by the National Socialists through persecution, in particular, from former Jewish owners (so-called “Nazi confiscated art”). The Washington Principles of 1998 serve as the basis for its efforts in this field, to which end Germany officially pledged to fulfil its historic and moral obligations in a Common Declaration in 1999. The Foundation is also responsible for investigating the war-related removal or relocation of cultural assets (so-called “looted art”) as well as the loss of cultural assets under Soviet occupation and in the GDR. The Foundation supports provenance research with research grants and provides information on reports of lost and found cultural assets via its open-access “Lost Art” database.

The German federal government, the Länder of the Federal Republic of Germany and the three national associations of local authorities founded the German Lost Art Foundation on 1 January 2015 as an incorporated foundation under civil law with headquarters in Magdeburg.

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Project funding

The German Lost Art Foundation provides financial support to projects which conduct provenance research on cultural assets that were confiscated by the Nazi regime. As a rule, all publicly funded organisations are eligible to apply for project funding. Funding can also be awarded to private museums and collections as long as they adhere to the Washington Principles and pursue research of public interest.

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Lost Art-Database

The Foundation’s “Lost Art” database allows users around the world to access information on cultural assets which were displaced or relocated as a result of National Socialism and/or World War II. These also include works, particularly from former Jewish owners, which were confiscated by the Nazis or, because of gaps in their provenance history, cannot be completely ruled out as such.

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Website “Protection of Cultural Assets in Germany” and "National Cultural Treasures" database

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