Historical inventory maps of the Landesmuseum Oldenburg
Nazi-looted cultural property

Report on provenance research in Bavaria

61 restituted items and more than 1,700 search requests

61 items such as paintings, books and silverware from Bavarian institutions were restituted to the descendants of their former owners in 2022 thanks to work done by the Research Association for Provenance Research in Bavaria (Provenienzforschung Bayern, FPB). The Association’s latest activity report provides a summary of the work done by the 26 participating institutions investigating the history of art works and items of cultural property thought to have been looted. Museums, the Bavarian State Library, archives, university chairs and non-university research institutions are involved in the Association, which was founded in 2015. Synergy effects are created through close co-operation between these various organisations. For example, it is not uncommon for objects that were originally in the holdings of a single dealer or collector to be found spread among several institutions today. In such cases, members engage in joint research and support each other in their work.

As Association Chair Dr. Matthias Weniger says: “Our annual activity reports demonstrate impressively that the Research Association for Provenance Research in Bavaria is in a state of constant flux. Other topics have come into focus in addition to the confiscation of art during the Nazi era, not least the objectionable provenance of the colonial era and GDR injustice. Meanwhile, more and more organisations continue to join our ranks. Ongoing dialogue with our association contributes significantly to the success of provenance work in Bavaria.”

The Research Association for Provenance Research in Bavaria issues an annual activity report which is also available on its website. The main patron is the state of Bavaria. As a result of the Association’s active research, 908 items from Bavarian museums and libraries suspected of being looted art were entered in the Lost Art Database last year. An updated list was compiled in March 2023 with as many as 1,716 records, including manuscripts and music prints.


To find out more about the Research Association for Provenance Research in Bavaria, see: https://www.provenienzforschungsverbund-bayern.de/en/home