Showing results 13 - 24 of 50 for the tag: Nazi loot.

May 25, 2012

Dispute over Senate bill S. 2212 over looted artefacts loaned to museums

Posted at 8:07 am in Similar cases

The Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act has stirred up quite a bit of controversy in the USA.

Many who have examined the bill (S. 2212) say that despite exemptions in the planned law, it is only really there to protect the interests of the big museums – while reducing the chances of recovering looted artefacts by the original owners (or their descendants).

From:
New York Times

Dispute Over Bill on Borrowed Art
The heirs of Malevich sought to recover paintings, including the ones displayed above center and right.
By DOREEN CARVAJAL
Published: May 21, 2012

The lending and borrowing of famous artworks is the essence of cultural exchange between museums in the United States and abroad. So routine is the practice, and so universally valued, that the American government has traditionally protected it with a law that shields a lent work from being seized by anyone with a claim to legal ownership while the art is on display here.

In recent years, though, American museum directors have come to fear that this safeguard has eroded, and that foreign museums, dreading entanglement in costly ownership battles, are more hesitant to make loans. So they have asked Congress to increase the security for global art swaps.
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May 10, 2012

Who does the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act really protect?

Posted at 1:16 pm in Similar cases

A comment on my earlier post about the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act, also known as Senate Bill S. 2212 highlights some more issues with this proposed law.

I’ve copied the information below directly from the comment by Pierre Ciric.

People who are concerned about the potential impact of the act are encouraged to sign the petition here.

As a second generation holocaust survivor, I have concluded that S. 2212, in shielding any government-related foreign institution from ANY liability or suit in the United States for claims for artworks related to cultural exchanges, and subject to pillage, plunder or illegal excavation, is appalling.

In 1998, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and its members promised to perform in-depth provenance research for their entire collections, during hearings held by Jim Leach, Chair of the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services.
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April 25, 2012

Berlin court rules that museum must return poster collection looted by Nazis

Posted at 7:54 am in Similar cases

A court in Berlin has ruled that a German Museum must return a collection of rare posters that were taken from the ancestors of Peter Sachs by the Nazis in 1938. The court made the decision, because to rule otherwise would “would perpetuate Nazi injustice”. If only such moral judgements could be made in British courts regarding the requests for return of artefacts such as the Parthenon Marbles. It is worth noting that due to the size of the collection, in recent years, only a small part of it has ever been on display as the museum at any one time.

From:
BBC News

16 March 2012 Last updated at 12:35
Nazi looted poster art must be returned to Peter Sachs

A Jewish man has won his fight against a German museum for the return of thousands of rare posters stolen from his father by the Nazis in 1938.

Berlin’s Federal Court of Justice ruled Peter Sachs, who now lives in the US, is the rightful owner of the posters.
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March 28, 2012

George Clooney’s new film highlights the issue of looted Nazi art

Posted at 1:11 pm in Similar cases

George Clooney’s new film, “The Monuments Men”, is about the true story of looting of artworks by the Nazis, along with Hitler’s reasoning behind this, in his attempt to create the greatest art museum in the world.

This is an issue that is still a major problem today, as people try & untangle the true ownership of many artworks, so anything that gives the story more of a public prominence will hopefully help to raise the profile of ongoing cases.

The film is based on Robert M. Edsel’s book, “The Monuments Men.”

From:
Artlyst

Date: 08 Jan 2012
George Clooney Highlights Stolen Nazi Art
New film “The Monuments Men” starts pre- production in LA

A film directed by Hollywood A- lister George Clooney has started pre- production in LA this month. The film is based on the book “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History,” by Robert M. Edsel. It is about Adolf Hitler’s attempts to steal the most important art in Europe and set up the worlds greatest museum, in Berlin. His armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: “degenerate” works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Momuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world’s great art from the Nazis.

Clooney will be writing, directing and starring in the film, a co-production along with his partner, Grant Heslov. Clooney stated at the Palm Springs Film Festival on Saturday; “I’m excited about this project, It’s a fun move because it could be big entertainment. It’s a big budget, you can’t do it small, it’s la anding in Normandy.” “I’m not opposed to doing a commercial film, I’m just opposed to doing a commercial film that doesn’t feel organic to me. So if we’re going to do a commercial film we thought, ‘Let’s do something that seems exciting and actually has something to say.’”
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March 27, 2012

The problems with the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act

Posted at 2:01 pm in Similar cases

Marc Masurovsky has helped me out, by going into some of the issues with the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act.

The bill has now been introduced in the Senate as S. 2212. The worry is, that many of the successful cases that have been brought in the US in recent years, to secure the return of looted cultural property would no longer be possible. For those of you in the USA, the Senators supporting the bill are: Dianne Feinstein and Orrin Hatch. As he points out, Fenstein has many major museums within her community, which includes San Francisco & Los Angeles.

As Marc says “It’s the end of art restitution as we know it.” Supporting such a bill would be a backward step for the country that is currently one of the more forward thinking (well compared to the UK at any rate) in terms of cultural property restitutions & the legal framework that allows them to take place. “After all, once you write a bill that carries with it select exclusions, it implies that you tolerate other forms of looted art to enter the US for display. Hence, the clarification to the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act should either be all-inclusive or dropped entirely. It is absolutely critical for source countries to express themselves”.

Doubtless, many organisations such as the AAMD are unlikely to agree with this point of view.

More details of the act can be found in my original post on it.

February 16, 2012

Provenance Research Training Program – Workshop in Germany

Posted at 6:44 pm in Events, Similar cases

The Provenance Research Training Program aims to provide training in provenance research & related issues. Their main focus is on Nazi looted artefacts, but other items are also covered. They are holding their first workshop this June in Magdeburg Germany.

See announcement on their website for full details.

Via @keridouglas on Twitter.

From:
Provenance Research Training Program

The Provenance Research Training Program (PRTP)

The Provenance Research Training Program (PRTP) is a project of the European Shoah Legacy Institute (ESLI) created by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs in furtherance of the Holocaust Era Assets Conference held in Prague in 2009 and the resulting Terezin Declaration endorsed by 47 countries. The program focuses on provenance research and related issues concerning Nazi-looted art, Judaica, and other cultural property. It provides advanced training to serve the international community of current and future experts engaged in dealing with issues concerning cultural plunder during the Third Reich, the Holocaust and World War II. Each year the program offers week-long workshops that provide an intensive historical overview of cultural plunder—its evolution and implementation; methodological training, including specialized research in public and private archives; a presentation and discussion of legal concepts and instrumentalities at national and international levels, including political, moral and ethical issues and restitution policies and principles. In addition to facilitating research and providing access to a vast array of information, the program will promote the establishment of international networks of provenance researchers that will bring together experts in all relevant fields and countries.

December 6, 2011

Does the return of artefacts sometimes diminish their value?

Posted at 2:14 pm in Similar cases

This article has an interesting ending – when art works are returned mainly for the purpose of being re-sold, it can often mean that the gains are not without losses. This contrasts of course to cases such as that of the Parthenon Marbles (& many other high profile cases), where the intention is to display them in the country where they were originally created, rather than to use them as a method of financial compensation.

From:
Guardian

Online database of art looted by Nazis points to a more complex history
Jonathan Jones
Thursday 5 May 2011 17.02 BST

Hitler’s looting of artworks was not exceptional. The quest to find them is really an expression of revulsion at his true crimes

A troubling detail caught my eye in the new online archive of documents relating to art works looted by the Nazis. At the first meeting of the British Committee on the Preservation and Restitution of Works of Art in 1944, the critic Kenneth Clark “drew attention to the reported destruction of churches such as San Francesco at Arezzo”, which, he said, “suggested that our bombing was not always accurate”.
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November 30, 2011

Austrian Museum to return Nazi loot

Posted at 1:39 pm in Similar cases

An Austrian museum has handed a Klimt painting looted by the Nazis to a descendent of the original owner.

From:
Agence France Presse

Austrian museum to return Nazi-stolen Klimt
(AFP) – Apr 21, 2011

VIENNA — An Austrian museum announced Thursday it will return a Gustav Klimt painting stolen by the Nazis and worth over 20 million euros, to the Canadian descendant of the previous Jewish owner.

Expert reports backed Georges Jorisch’s claim to the 1915 painting “Litzlberg am Attersee” (“Litzlberg on the Attersee”), which had belonged to his Jewish grandmother Amalie Redlich, according to Salzburg’s Museum of Modern Art.
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April 20, 2011

Benevento Missal returns to its rightful owners

Posted at 1:08 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Perhaps the end of the long running story of the return of the Benevento Missal. Initially something that was not legally possible, but that was later allowed by changes to the law on restitution of artefacts looted during the Nazi era.

From:
Daily Telegraph

British Library returns 900-year-old religious manuscript to Italy
By Nick Squires, Rome
5:01PM GMT 07 Feb 2011

A 900-year-old religious manuscript which was looted in Italy during the Second World War has been returned by the British Library to its rightful owners in the southern Italian town of Benevento after a decade-long legal battle.

A British lawyer who acted for the archdiocese of Benevento, handed back the manuscript personally. The codex was written on parchment around 1100.

“The return of the missal had become highly symbolic for Benevento and its cathedral, so they were absolutely delighted to have it back,” Jeremy Scott, the lawyer, said.
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March 24, 2011

Reclaiming artefacts that have gone astray

Posted at 2:06 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Looting of artefacts, particularly during invasions & times of occupation, is something that has gone on for thousands of years. More recently though, some cases have gained a much higher profile & in some instances, this has led to the disputed artefacts being voluntarily returned.

From:
The National (UAE)

Homelands seek to reclaim art gone astray
Anna Blundy
Last Updated: Feb 1, 2011

According to the Book of Chronicles in the Bible’s Old Testament, “King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and took away the treasures of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace. He took everything, including the gold shields that Solomon had made.”

Seizing the artworks of a country or a people has always been used as a politically motivated cultural rape in times of conflict. Thus, artworks of disputed ownership have always been in the news. Just last week Germany again rejected Egypt’s demand to return its 3,350-year-old bust of Nefertiti, and there have been battles over ancient Etruscan artwork and Aztec artefacts, not to mention the Elgin Marbles, a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures, inscriptions and architectural artefacts that were part of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens. They were brought to Britain by Lord Elgin in the early 1800s, remain in the British Museum and look likely to stay there.
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February 18, 2011

Painting returned to family of holocaust victims by Rutgers University’s Zimmerli Art Museum

Posted at 1:48 pm in Similar cases

A painting by Hans Baldung Grien, the belonged to the German Gutmann family & was taken by the Nazis, has been returned to the descendants of its original owners, once the museum that held it was alerted to the details of the provenance of the painting.

From:
Star Ledger (New Jersey)

Azadeh Ardakani
Rutgers University art museum returns rare painting to family of Holocaust victims
Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 8:45 AM
By Peggy McGlone/The Star-Ledger

NEW BRUNSWICK — The 16th Century painting by German artist Hans Baldung Grien has traveled thousands of miles and passed through many owners — some evil, some desperate to bargain for their lives — before returning to the family who owned it 70 years ago.

It was once a part of the renowned collection of Friedrich (Fritz) and Louise Gutmann, German bankers who displayed works by Bosch, Botticelli, Renoir and Degas at their Dutch estate.
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December 31, 2010

Benevento Missal finaly returns home to Italy because of Nazi loot restitution laws

Posted at 12:07 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the return of a manuscript from the British Library to Benevento in Italy. The return was made possible by new laws allowing the return of items looted during the Nazi era.

From:
The Art Newspaper

Benevento Missal returns home
Sixty-five years after the end of the second world war, the precious manuscript is the first item of Nazi-era loot to be returned by a UK national museum
By Martin Bailey | Web only
Published online 24 Nov 10 (News)

BENEVENTO, ITALY. Laureato Maio, the 84-year-old cathedral librarian, lifted the early 12th-century missal from its box, and brought it to his lips. He closed his eyes and kissed the bound codex for a full minute, deep in thought. On 11 November, 65 years after the end of the World War II, the precious manuscript from Benevento (near Naples) became the first item of Nazi-era loot to be returned by a UK national museum, in this case the British Library.

Maio is the 49th librarian at Benevento Cathedral since records began, in the year 998. He remembers the chapter library in the late 1930s, in his early teens, and as a young seminary student he witnessed the terrible destruction wrought on his city by allied bombing in 1943. The cathedral was almost totally destroyed, but its manuscripts were saved. However, soon afterwards one of the early codices disappeared: a missal written in Benevento’s unique script soon after 1100.
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