Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

"Gurlitt Provenance Research" project

The Gurlitt Prove­nance Re­search Project was es­tab­lished to con­tin­ue the re­search be­gun by the ‘Schwabing Art Trove’ Task­force in­to the ori­gins (prove­nance) of the art­works found at Cor­nelius Gurlitt’s homes in 2012 and sub­se­quent years be­fore his death. A fur­ther part of the project’s re­mit is to cat­a­logue and eval­u­ate the ex­ten­sive ma­te­ri­als from the lega­cy of writ­ten doc­u­ments in the Gurlitt es­tate. The main ob­jec­tive is to in­ves­ti­gate the his­to­ry of own­er­ship of the art­works in or­der to clar­i­fy whether any of the works in ques­tion are Nazi-loot­ed art and, if so, from whom they were tak­en.

The project’s main fo­cus is prove­nance re­search, but it al­so serves as the point of con­tact for queries re­lat­ed to the art­works.

Since 1 Jan­uary 2016, the Gurlitt Prove­nance Re­search Project has op­er­at­ed un­der the aegis of the Stiftung Deutsches Zen­trum Kul­turgutver­luste (Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion), in line with a res­o­lu­tion passed by that foun­da­tion’s foun­da­tion board. The ba­sis of the project’s work is the agree­ment signed by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, the Free State of Bavaria and Mr. Cor­nelius Gurlitt in 2014 as well as the sub­se­quent agree­ment be­tween the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, the Free State of Bavaria, and the Stiftung Kun­st­mu­se­um Bern of the same year.

The project’s ap­proach was de­signed to en­sure that progress is made in an ef­fi­cient, trans­par­ent and ex­pe­di­tious man­ner. It builds on ac­cept­ed schol­ar­ly stan­dards for prove­nance re­search, the work of the ‘Schwabing Art Trove’ Task­force, and the ex­per­tise of rec­og­nized spe­cial­ists in the field. Once the in­di­vid­u­al art­works have un­der­gone a thor­ough pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion, as­sign­ments for more in-depth, tar­get­ed prove­nance re­search can be is­sued, as re­quired. Works that are the sub­ject of a resti­tu­tion claim are giv­en pri­or­i­ty.

The du­ra­tion of the project has ini­tial­ly been lim­it­ed to one year, was ex­tend­ed by one year in the mean­time and now ends on 31 De­cem­ber 2017. It is fund­ed ex­clu­sive­ly from the bud­get of the Fed­er­al Com­mis­sion­er for Cul­ture and the Me­dia.

The di­rec­tor of the project is Dr. An­drea Bare­sel-Brand.

Team Gurlitt
Bertha-Benz-Straße  5
10557 Berlin
Tele­phone+49 (0)30 2061 487 10
Tele­fax+49 (0)30 2061 487 90