Nazi-looted cultural property

„Just, fair – up to date?“ – 25 Years of the Washington Principles

The German Lost Art Foundation hosted a commemorative event to mark 25 years of the Washington Principles.

25 Jahre Washingtoner Prinzipien (“Just, fair – up to date? 25 Years of the Washington Principles”) seeks to recognise the “Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art”, in which more than 40 states and 13 non-governmental organisations committed to identifying Nazi-confiscated works of art and arriving at just and fair solutions with the original owners or their descendants.

The Washington Principles have made a pivotal contribution to the development of provenance research in Germany, which has been funded by the German Lost Art Foundation since 2015: today, critical reappraisal of the Nazi confiscation of cultural property makes an essential contribution to at least partially making up for the losses suffered by the Jewish population and keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust as a crime against humanity.

After the welcome of Achim Bonte, Director General Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Claudia Roth, Minister of State for Culture and the Media, and Wesley Fisher, Director of Research, Claims Conference and World Jewish Restitution Organization, held their opening speeches. Then Gilbert Lupfer, Executive Chairman of the German Lost Art Foundation, gave an introduction followed by a literary keynote of Rafael Cardoso, a descendant of Hugo Simon, whose collection is being reconstructed through a project funded by the Foundation.

The panel with Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen (Director of the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation, former Minister of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia, former Secretary General of the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States), Léontine Meijer-van Mensch (Director of the State Ethnographic Collections (SES), Dresden State Art Collections), Stefan Koldehoff (Author and journalist, head reporter on cultural affairs, Deutschlandradio), Rüdiger Mahlo (Assistant Executive Vice President and Representative of the Claims Conference in Germany) and Gilbert Lupfer discussed critically the Washington Principles from 1998 .

The event was held in German language, except for the speech by Wesley Fisher.

To the programm

To the press release (German)

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Achim Bonte
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