A work of art disappears in times of war. Years later, dedicated researchers come upon this artwork in a national art museum and find out that the Nazis confiscated the piece and that it was sold several times since then. Morally perhaps a clear-cut case, but legally inconclusive: Whose art is it?
Twenty years ago, in 1998, more than 40 countries and many international non-governmental organisations agreed on the “Washington Principles”, which form the moral and political bases for restitutions in the case of Nazi confiscated art. Can this attempt to right historical wrongs ensure a more peaceful and respectful present? You will explore the history of artworks in museums and of their previous owners. Here, provenance research, which deals with the origins and “paths” of artworks, is essential. In this workshop, you will acquire insights into the toolkit of a provenance researcher. On an excursion, you will then step into actual provenance research at a museum of the “Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation” in Berlin. In small groups, you will develop a media project that reflects your view on the matter: The ideas from this workshop will contribute to and be presented at the international conference “20 Years Washington Principles – A Roadmap for the Future” on November 27, 2018.
If you want to uncover the traces of historical artworks and discuss the meaning, challenges and moral impacts of reconciliation by the means of seeking fair and just solutions, you should join this workshop.
Image Credits: © Körber-Stiftung
Workshop Partner: German Lost Art Foundation
Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste (German Lost Art Foundation) is the national and international contact partner for all matters pertaining to the illegal seizure of cultural assets in Germany in the 20th century. The main activities of the Foundation focus on cultural assets confiscated by the Nazis, particularly those from former Jewish owners.
Further Information: https://www.kulturgutverluste.de/en