Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

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

Date 2015.01.22

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.