Second round of initial check ends in southern Lower Saxony
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.