ANN: “Tracking looted art” – Invitation to an information event by the German Lost Art Foundation at EU level (online, 5 May 2022, 15:00 CEST)

Almost ten years have passed since the discovery of the “Gurlitt art trove” brought the Nazi regime’s looting of millions of artworks from Jewish citizens to wider public attention. In the last five years or so, the global debate concerning the seizure of cultural assets in the colonial context has also intensified in Germany: institutions are now confronting their colonial past – the return of cultural goods from colonial contexts has become a central issue of international cultural politics.

But before every return, provenance must be clarified. Since its inception in 2015, the German Lost Art Foundation has therefore focused on funding and networking for provenance research. The foundation is unique and was founded jointly by the federal, state, and municipal governments. In Germany, it is a central contact point for questions regarding cultural property that was unlawfully seized. Its main focus is on supporting research into Nazi looting, based on the Washington Principles of 1998. In addition, the foundation deals with war losses during World War II and the seizure of cultural assets in the Soviet zone of occupation and the GDR. Since 2019, funding is also provided for provenance research into cultural goods and collections from colonial contexts. Furthermore, the foundation runs the Lost Art database and the research database Proveana, as well as the “Help Desk” for enquiries about Nazi-looted art.

The event will open with a welcoming address by Ambassador Susanne Szech-Koundouros, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union in Brussels.

PROGRAMME (moderator: Lena Grundhuber, press officer):

  • Welcoming address by Ambassador Susanne Szech-Koundouros (Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union in Brussels)
  • Welcoming address by Professor Gilbert Lupfer (Executive Board of the German Lost Art Foundation)
  • Introductory talk “Selected points of comparison in the handling of Nazi-looted art by European states” by Professor Matthias Weller (Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach- Professor for civil law, art and cultural property law / Director of the Bonn Institute for German and International Civil Procedure at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms- Universität Bonn)
  • Introduction of the foundation’s departments by Dr Michael Franz (General Administration), Dr Uwe Hartmann (Cultural Property Losses in Europe in the 20th century), Dr Andrea Baresel-Brand (Documentation and Research Data Management), Dr Larissa Förster (Cultural Goods and Collections from Colonial Contexts) and Dr Susanne Meyer-Abich (Help Desk for Enquiries about Nazi-looted Art)
  • Discussion

The event will take place as a video conference via Webex. Participation is free, but registration is required by 4 May 2022. Participants will receive the access link on the day of the event. Registration:

German Lost Art Foundation
Heinrich Natho
Press Office
Humboldtstraße 12 | 39112 Magdeburg | Germany Telephone +49 (0) 391 727 763-23

With your registration and participation you give permission to the organizers to make image, sound and video recordings and to use these in connection with the event for public relations work as well as use digital and analogue documentation (in accordance with German law § 22 KunstUrhG). The organizers collect, process, and use personal data in accordance with the statutory function of the German Lost Art Foundation.