Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Accord between the Federation, the federal states and the national associations of local
authorities
on the establishment of an Advisory Commission
on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution,
especially Jewish property

(1) An independent Advisory Commission shall be established which, if desired, may be jointly called upon in individual cases in which, in connection with the restitution of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property, the claimant and the holder of the cultural property seek mediation. Public institutions which hold cultural property and to which the Washington Principles of 1998 and the Joint Declaration of 1999 of the Federation, the federal states and the national associations of local authorities to implement the Washington Principles directly apply may lodge a request for mediation, as may private institutions holding cultural property in Germany which, upon request for mediation, declare that they agree to be bound by these Principles. In the same way, private persons who hold cultural property and submit such a binding declaration may also lodge a request for mediation.

(2) At every stage of the procedure it shall be the Commission’s task to work towards an amicable settlement. As a result of its work, the Commission may issue recommendations that will be published together with their explanations. Public institutions and private parties are expected to follow these recommendations.

(3) The Commission shall be composed of up to ten qualified figures with legal, ethical, cultural and historical expertise who do not hold a prominent political office. The Commission members shall be appointed by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media in agreement with the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) and the national associations of local authorities for a period of ten years (for new members). The Commission members shall work in an honorary capacity.

(4) The Commission shall adopt its own rules of procedure which will be published.

(5) The German Lost Art Foundation (Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste) shall serve as the secretariat of the Advisory Commission and look after administrative matters. A suitable staff member shall assume the role of executive secretary.