Press release by the Press and Information Office of the German Federal Government
Foundation board of the German Lost Art Foundation holds its constituent session at the Federal Chancellery
The board of trustees of the German Lost Art Foundation convened Thursday for its constituent session at the Federal Chancellery. The trustees elected Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Prof. Monika Grütters to serve as chairwoman.
Monika Grütters stated that “one of the few joyful moments in the work of a minister of cultural affairs is to see a new foundation start a life of its own. Today is one such moment. The important first step has been taken – our practical work has begun. Starting today the German Lost Art Foundation has commenced its activities – and that with outstanding names: Prof. Uwe Schneede was appointed to the executive board of the Foundation and Dr. Hermann Simon was selected as chairman of the advisory committee.” Monika Grütters added that “with the art historian Uwe Schneede managing operations, we have someone who made a name for himself on account of his great personal commitment to searching for Nazi-looted art in public collections. His involvement enhances the national and international reputation of the German Lost Art Foundation. With Dr. Hermann Simon from the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin, the perspective of the Jewish victims will acquire new significance in the committees.” Following the meeting of the board of trustees, the Federal Commissioner remarked that “establishing the German Lost Art Foundation (DZK) in record time was an encouraging signal. The quick response to the discovery of the artworks in Schwabing by the federal and state governments and leading municipal associations was a concrete example of cooperative cultural federalism at its best in Germany. The board of trustees is the supervisory body of the German Lost Art Foundation. It is comprised of fifteen individuals who represent the founding members (the German federal and state governments and leading municipal associations). It is responsible for making decisions on all matters of significance to the Foundation and its development. Established on 1 January 2015, the German Lost Art Foundation works to bundle, strengthen and expand provenance research – in particular with respect to Nazi-looted art. It serves as the national and international contact partner in Germany entrusted with the task of implementing the Washington Principles and the Joint Declaration, a pledge by the German federal and state governments and leading municipal associations to locate and return cultural assets illegally attained through Nazi persecution. Its responsibilities include continuing the work of the former Magdeburg Coordination Office and the former Office of Provenance Research. The Foundation will be able to move into its prospective headquarters in Magdeburg in April 2015. In addition to the starting capital provided by its founding members, the German Lost Art Foundation will also receive financial backing from the German federal and state governments each year. In 2015, the federal government tripled its total funding budget for provenance research from two to six million euros annually.