Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Klassik Stiftung Weimar concludes provenance research on acquisitions made between 1940 and 1945

Date 2020.02.27

In De­cem­ber 2019, the Klas­sik Stiftung Weimar brought its prove­nance re­search on ac­qui­si­tions made be­tween 1940 and 1945 to a pro­vi­sion­al clo­sure. To date, the foun­da­tion has resti­tut­ed 2,507 ob­jects to the le­gal suc­ces­sors of 13 per­se­cut­ed own­ers. These ob­jects had been defini­tive­ly as­sessed as cul­tur­al goods con­fis­cat­ed un­der Nazi per­se­cu­tion.

From this year on­ward, re­search ac­tiv­i­ties are turn­ing to the ac­qui­si­tion pe­ri­od af­ter May 9, 1945. They will be ex­tend­ed be­yond ob­jects con­fis­cat­ed un­der Nazi per­se­cu­tion to in­clude items which were un­law­ful­ly seized dur­ing the So­vi­et oc­cu­pa­tion and the GDR era. For the pe­ri­od 1945 to 1990, it is as­sumed that there were ap­prox. 300,000 ac­qui­si­tions made by the pre­de­ces­sor in­sti­tu­tions of to­day’s Klas­sik Stiftung.

Since 2010, the Klas­sik Stiftung has been ex­am­in­ing its col­lec­tions sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly - i.e. chrono­log­i­cal­ly and across all in­ven­to­ries - for cul­tur­al goods seized through Nazi per­se­cu­tion. It re­ceived sup­port from the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion for a num­ber of projects be­tween 2009 and 2016. Af­ter fund­ing from the Foun­da­tion ex­pired, the Klas­sik Stiftung has fi­nanced its prove­nance re­search whol­ly from its own re­sources. Since Novem­ber 2015, a mo­bile dis­play case spe­cial­ly de­vel­oped by the Klas­sik Stiftung has been in­form­ing vis­i­tors about its prove­nance re­search ac­tiv­i­ties. The case is dis­played on a ro­tat­ing ba­sis in the foy­ers of the Klas­sik Stiftung Weimar in­sti­tu­tions that hold its col­lec­tions. Each time, the dis­play case presents an ex­am­ple of an ob­ject that has been iden­ti­fied as Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty. It sheds light on the fates of for­mer own­ers and doc­u­ments the in­ves­tiga­tive ac­tiv­i­ties of the prove­nance re­searchers.

Web­site Klas­sik Stiftung Weimar - Prove­nance Re­search Ac­tiv­i­ties