Some 1.93 million euros for provenance research in the area of “Nazi-looted cultural property”

German Lost Art Foundation approves funding for 18 research projects in the second round of applications in 2023.

In the second call for proposals in 2023, the German Lost Art Foundation has approved funding of some 1.93 million euros for provenance research in the area of “Nazi-looted cultural property”. The Magdeburg-based Foundation will be financially supporting a total of 18 research projects from this second call for proposals, enabling museum collections to be examined for Nazi-looted cultural property, for example, and lost collections of persecuted Jewish citizens to be reconstructed. The Foundation’s Executive Chairman decides on the allocation of funding at the recommendation of its Funding Committee.

Information on Jewish art collectors during the National Socialist era is to be compiled by a project being run by Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf and the Max Stern Foundation in collaboration with the State Association of Jewish Communities of North Rhine-Westphalia. The aim is to analyse the transactions conducted by the Düsseldorf-based Galerie Stern, in particular its customer database, in order to gain insights into the gallery’s Jewish customers and possible forced sales that may have occurred between 1933 and 1935. Art dealer Max Stern was persecuted as a Jew and fled Germany in 1937. The research project builds on the Stern Cooperation Project, likewise funded by the Foundation, which investigated the history of the Sterns, a family of German-Jewish art dealers, and what became of their art holdings.

A total of 17 Thuringian museums are embarking on a project organised by the museum association Museumsverband Thüringen e. V. in search of Nazi-looted cultural property. Museums as diverse as the German Bee Museum in Weimar, Altenburg Castle and Playing Card Museum, and the literary museum Theodor Storm in Heilbad Heiligenstadt will be searching their collections for evidence of objectionable provenances. This large-scale first check will also mean that provenance research can be carried out by municipal museums that would not normally have the necessary resources to do so. The project will seek to provide an overview of the archive and storage situation at the museums and gain insights into the history of the region and its museums, as well as analysing actors and networks in the art and antiques trade.

Since 2008, the Federal Government and the German federal states have funded provenance research on the subject of Nazi-looted cultural property with a total of approximately 50.8 million euros, enabling 445 projects to be realised to date. The German Lost Art Foundation in Magdeburg, founded on 1 January 2015 by the Federal Government, the German federal states and the leading municipal associations, is the central point of contact in Germany for questions concerning unlawfully seized cultural property. The Foundation receives institutional funding from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media; this is also the source of funding for its projects.

The German Lost Art Foundation not only supports research projects dedicated to arriving at just and fair solutions, it also documents cultural property losses in its publicly accessible database Lost Art in the form of search requests and found-object reports. The Foundation presents the results of its funded research projects in its research database Proveana at

For further information on funding opportunities, see:

German Lost Art Foundation
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