Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Second round of initial check ends in southern Lower Saxony

Date 2017.09.11

The Land­schaftsver­band Süd­nieder­sach­sen e. V. re­gion­al as­so­ci­a­tion to­day pre­sent­ed the find­ings of the project “Ini­tial check in five town and re­gion­al mu­se­ums - the con­tin­u­ing search for Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty in south­ern Low­er Sax­ony”. The project was fund­ed by the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion in Magde­burg. These find­ings are from the sec­ond round of the search for un­law­ful­ly con­fis­cat­ed cul­tur­al prop­er­ty, the first round hav­ing been car­ried out in five mu­se­ums in south­ern Low­er Sax­ony in 2016.

The lat­est project be­gan sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly ex­am­in­ing a fur­ther four mu­se­ums in March 2017. Prove­nance re­searcher Chris­tian Riemen­schnei­der once again suc­cess­ful­ly found what he was look­ing for: the sus­pi­cious finds in­clude im­ages and texts from the Ger­man Com­mu­nist Par­ty and So­cial Demo­crat­ic Par­ty seized un­der the Nazi regime, spoils of war from the Sec­ond World War, ethno­graph­ic ob­jects, ac­qui­si­tions made from Jew­ish and Aryanized art deal­er­ships dur­ing the Nazi era and oth­er un­law­ful­ly ac­quired items from col­lec­tions.
The ob­jects iden­ti­fied as sus­pi­cious to date and the col­lec­tions in the mu­se­ums con­cerned will be con­clu­sive­ly in­ves­ti­gat­ed in a re­search project sched­uled for 2018. The aim is to re­turn un­law­ful­ly ac­quired cul­tur­al as­sets to their for­mer own­ers or their heirs and to pub­lish those cas­es that have not been clar­i­fied in the Lost Art Database op­er­at­ed by the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion.

“The ini­tial check mod­el to ex­am­ine mu­se­um col­lec­tions for sus­pi­cious el­e­ments has once again proved its worth. It en­ables even small mu­se­ums that do not have the staff or fi­nan­cial re­sources to car­ry out their own re­search on their hold­ings to ful­fill their obli­ga­tions with re­gard to iden­ti­fy­ing ob­jects that came in­to their pos­ses­sion un­law­ful­ly af­ter 1933,” said Math­ias Dein­ert, an em­ploy­ee in the Prove­nance Re­search De­part­ment at the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion in Magde­burg, in his wel­come speech at the project’s clos­ing event.
Tak­ing part in the most re­cent round were Os­terode mu­se­um, Northeim lo­cal his­to­ry mu­se­um, Us­lar mu­se­um and Seesen civic mu­se­um.
There are al­ready com­pa­ra­ble projects in Bran­den­burg, Bavaria, Meck­len­burg-Vor­pom­mern, Sax­ony-An­halt and East Frisia.

Project de­scrip­tion