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.