Resources and Information
Lost Art Database
The Lost Art Database registers cultural objects which as a result of persecution under the Nazi dictatorship and the Second World War were relocated, moved or seized, especially from Jewish owners. Lost Art is operated by the foundation Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste at Magdeburg. The foundation is nationally and internationally the central contact in Germany on issues of the implementation of the "Washington Principles" and the "Joint Declaration" of the German Federal Government, the Länder and the National Associations of Local Authorities. It continues the tasks of the former Koordinierungsstelle Magdeburg, which set www.lostart.de online in April 2000, and the former Arbeitsstelle für Provenienzforschung. The foundation is carried by the German Federal Government, the Länder and the National Associations of Local Authorities.
The Central Registry fulfils Washington Principle VI on the setting up of a central repository of information on Nazi looting and contemporary efforts to research and resolve all outstanding issues. It is a charitable body operating under the auspices of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, an independent unit of the University of Oxford.
It was established through an initiative of its sister organisation, the Commission for Looted Art in Europe. The Commission is the non-profit, expert, representative body in Europe which negotiates policies and procedures, assists families to identify and recover looted cultural property, and provides guidance and information to individuals, institutions and governments worldwide.
The Hon. Chairman of the Central Registry is Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat who hosted the 1998 Washington Conference. Ambassador Eizenstat has led the major initiatives on looted cultural property of recent years, including the devising and endorsing of the Washington Principles and of the Vilnius Declaration, and the establishing of the US Presidential Commission on Holocaust-Era Assets.
The work of the Central Registry includes:
- Documenting the fate of families, works of art and institutions.
- Monitoring the extent of implementation of the Washington Principles and other national and international policy developments.
- Providing guidance and orientation for families, institutions, the art trade, and the academic community.
- Conducting original research and publishing primary sources on the cultural spoliation of Europe in the Nazi era.