Initial check in five museums in Saxony-Anhalt ends – results presented
Last week, the participants in the project “Initial check in five museums in Saxony-Anhalt” gathered in Magdeburg to evaluate the results of their successful research efforts and explore the next steps based on this research. The German Lost Art Foundation financially supported the project with a grant over a period of five months.
The aim of the project led by the museum association Museumsverband Sachsen-Anhalt e. V. was to carry out an initial check in five selected museums in Saxony-Anhalt to establish whether there was any suspicion that the collection holdings contained cultural assets seized through Nazi persecution (Nazi-confiscated property). This type of initial check can subsequently determine whether or not there is a need for further, long-term provenance research.
The provenance researcher appointed by the Museumsverband for the initial checks, Mathias Deinert, reported that there was a suspicion of Nazi-confiscated property at all of the participating institutions and on this basis he recommended carrying out in-depth provenance research at all five locations. He said the starting position with regard to sources for in-depth research into Nazi-confiscated property was particularly promising at all locations. The museums taking part in the initial check in Saxony-Anhalt were the Altmärkische Museum in Stendal, the Danneil-Museum in Salzwedel, the Gleimhaus in Halberstadt, the Museum Aschersleben and the Museum Schloss Moritzburg Zeitz.
Sophie Leschik, who is responsible for advising public applicants at the Foundation, then advised the museum directors on the opportunities for submitting an application for long-term research.
Kristin Otto, chair of the Museumsverband Sachsen-Anhalt museum association, summarized the results of the project as follows: “A start has been made and we have sharpened our perspective on the history of the holdings and the role of museum stakeholders in the Nazi period. The project has made it clear that there are research gaps regarding the role of the Central German art and antiques trade before and after 1945.”
Sylvia Laumann, representative of the Städte- und Gemeindebund Sachsen-Anhalt (SGSA) association, provided professional assistance to the project from the beginning and acted as a disseminator of information: “Our association will now make the case at federal level for further, comparable projects during talks with the Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of Culture and with the national associations of local authorities,” said Laumann. She also pointed out that the SGSA supported the Landesverband Sachsen-Anhalt in the Deutsche Bibliotheksverband e.V. for the project “Initial check in selected public libraries in Saxony-Anhalt”. Taking part in this project, which is also funded by the German Lost Art Foundation, are Rosenbibliothek Sangerhausen, Stadtbibliothek Magdeburg, Bibliothek des Francisceum Zerbst, Bibliothek der Stadt Wernigerode and Anhaltische Landesbücherei Dessau-Roßlau. It is the first project carried out by a library association in the Federal Republic of Germany.