Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

German Oceanographic Museum begins provenance research - Foundation provides financial support

Date 2017.09.04

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.