German Oceanographic Museum begins provenance research - Foundation provides financial support
The German Oceanographic Museum in Stralsund started a provenance research project at the beginning of September. It is funded by the German Lost Art Foundation in Magdeburg.
The project aims to answer the question of whether any objects seized as a result of Nazi persecution (Nazi-confiscated property), especially those of Jewish ownership, unlawfully entered the holdings of the Stralsund museum between 1933 and 1945 with the collection of Otto Dibbelt. Otto Dibbelt was the founder of Stralsund’s Natural History Museum, which later became the Oceanographic Museum. In the 1930s and until the mid-1940s, as the director of the Kolberg museum, Otto Dibbelt created an extensive natural history and cultural history collection, which was moved to Stralsund during the war. This collection was incorporated into the holdings of the German Oceanographic Museum and the Stralsund Museum.
In researching its objects and their origin, the Oceanographic Museum ultimately aims to give back any objects that are proven to have been acquired as a result of persecution. The museum will identify the rightful heirs and seek a fair and just solution for the objects concerned in accordance with the Washington Conference Principles and the Declaration of the German Federal Government, German states and leading municipal associations to locate and return cultural assets confiscated through Nazi persecution.