Monday, August 27, 2018

Jewish heirs take on an art foundation that rights Nazi wrongs

By William D. Cohan
Provenance researchers like Uwe Hartmann, left, head of the research department of the German Lost Art Foundation, and art historian Kai Artinger, try to trace the ownership of art works suspected of having been looted by the Nazis.
The German Lost Art Foundation operates a database of art likely looted by the Nazis, a list that has earned plaudits for helping to return works taken from Jews during the Holocaust. Established by government officials to address the sins of a prior generation, the foundation and its database alert the market to works that may have painful pasts and cloudy title. But now the foundation is being criticized for removing from public view 63 works by the Austrian Expressionist Egon Schiele, as a result of lobbying by several dealers who specialize in the artist. The dealers contend the works in question were never stolen. [More]