Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Project funding (Cultural Assets Seized Through 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 assets seized 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 Provenance Research 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 illegally confiscated 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 assets confiscated through Nazi persecution, or to conduct research on the historical context of the Nazi confiscation of cultural assets. Applicants may apply for long-term research funding of up to two years with an option to extend. The maximum funding duration is 36 months. 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 concrete claim of restitution). Funding can also be granted to finance collection assessments 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 confiscated 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 on the Lost Art Database.

Find the Guideline for Provenance Research Funding (Cultural Assets Seized Through Nazi Persecution) here (PDF, 536 KB).