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