Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Hesse restitutes silver cup – German Lost Art Foundation funded the research

Date 2017.04.05

The fed­er­al state of Hesse has re­turned a sil­ver cup from the hold­ings of the Mu­se­um­s­land­schaft Hes­sen Kas­sel (MHK) to the heirs of its right­ful own­er, Dr. Wal­ter Moritz Lieberg. The ves­sel dat­ing from the 18th cen­tu­ry has been iden­ti­fied as Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty. The resti­tu­tion is the re­sult of a two-year re­search project fund­ed by the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion in Magde­burg.

Com­ment­ing on the re­turn, Dr. Uwe Hart­mann, head of the Prove­nance Re­search De­part­ment at the Foun­da­tion, said: “The han­dover of the sil­ver cup to the Lieberg fam­i­ly im­pres­sive­ly demon­strates why we must nev­er stop search­ing for Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty and why we need to reach fair and just so­lu­tions in line with the Wash­ing­ton Prin­ci­ples – for the vic­tims of Na­tion­al So­cial­ist per­se­cu­tion and for their grand­chil­dren and great-grand­chil­dren.”

Lieberg, a Jew­ish art en­thu­si­ast, lived in Kas­sel. His col­lec­tion was ex­pro­pri­at­ed by the Nazis in 1939 dur­ing a house search and giv­en to the Staatliche Kun­st­samm­lun­gen Kas­sel, a pre­de­ces­sor of the MHK. In 1941, Lieberg and his wife es­caped to the US, where Mr. Lieberg died in 1975.

The re­search project suc­cess­ful­ly traced Lieberg’s chil­dren, who knew noth­ing of the sil­ver cup’s ex­is­tence. They were de­light­ed to re­ceive back a keep­sake of their fa­ther and sug­gest­ed Lieberg’s grand­son in Vi­en­na should ac­cept the cup.

Project de­scrip­tion (on­ly Ger­man ver­sion)