Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Project funding ( regarding cultural property expropriated as a result of Nazi persecution)

As a rule, all publicly funded institutions in the Federal Republic of Germany, preferably museums, archives and libraries, may apply for funding from the German Lost Art Foundation.
Funding can be awarded to privately financed institutions and individuals, provided their search for Nazi-confiscated art seeks a just and fair solution in accordance with the Washington Principles and the Joint Declaration. In individual cases, funding may also be granted to projects which serve the public interest.

Private individuals whose collection was lost as a result of the National Socialist regime but whose principal place of residence is outside Germany, or their heirs and descendants, may submit an application for the reconstruction of this collection in cooperation with an institution or person based in Germany. This is on the condition that the cooperation partner is engaged in scientific provenance research to identify cultural property expropriated as a result of Nazi persecution and is appropriately qualified with the relevant professional experience. In addition, there must also be sufficient approaches for a research project in Germany. The Help Desk or the Department for cultural property losses in Europe in the 20th century can assist with any questions and provide initial guidance.

To be eligible for funding, applicants generally provide evidence that their institution and its collections may possibly possess works that were expropriated through persecution under the National Socialist regime. Funding is provided to finance research activities. This means that allocated funding can be used to finance temporary positions, work contracts, travel expenses and material expenditures.

There are two forms of research funding. The first is long-term project funding for institutions to systematically investigate their collections with the aim of determining whether they contain cultural property expropriated as a result of Nazi persecution, or to conduct research on the historical context of the National Socialist art looting. Applicants may apply for long-term research funding of up to two years with an option to extend for another year. As a rule, the funding duration should not exceed a total of 36 months. In special cases, an exception can be made for a duration of up to 60 months. The necessity for any extension of a project must be justified by the applicant. The second form of funding is used to finance short-term investigative and/or research efforts. Such projects should have a singular and specific purpose (e.g. to investigate a claim of restitution). Funding can also be granted to finance a first check of a limited scope for a period of up to six months.

If during the course of a funded project, researchers should discover that an item was expropriated from its previous owner as a result of Nazi persecution, the project administrator must notify the German Lost Art Foundation as directed by the Guidelines for Implementing the Joint Declaration (PDF, 2 MB), and publicly report the item as found in the Lost Art Database.

Find the Funding Guideline for Provenance Research (regarding cultural property expropriated as a result of Nazi persecution) here (PDF, 514 KB).