Looted Art: Provenance Research and Restitution in the Netherlands
This research group is dedicated to provenance research and restitution of looted art in the Netherlands.
Description of the research group:
The spoliation of art during the Nazi-era and the Holocaust is the central focus of this research group. However, we extend it to colonial and other contexts as well. The group is concerned with research on the looting of objects itself, as well as on questions of restitution.
Provenance research is a highly fragmented field, as it is guided by diverging interests. Therefore, the members of our research group are from different areas: museum professionals, archivists, claimants, lawyers, etc. The frequent exchange among each other about current issues in provenance research is our main goal.
As an inclusive research group, we are interested in a variety of approaches: apart from applied provenance research and juridical restitution, we address memory, holocaust and genocide studies, and museological, curatorial and cultural heritage perspectives.
The main goal of the research group is to organize lectures, expert meetings and discussions on a regular basis, about ongoing (PhD) research and other current issues.
More than 75 years after World War II, the question of restitution of Nazi-spoliated art is still far from complete. Righting the wrong done to Jews and other social groups is still subject of debate. For museums and the art market, provenance research has become increasingly important as a means to avoid legal conflicts.
The research group connects World War II-related looted art and restitution with colonial and other contexts. Obviously, recent discussions about the colonial past emphasize the importance of creating the connection. Today, we are not only confronted with objects which were translocated in the past, but looting is still happening on a large scale, such as the theft of antiquities in war situations. Looted art and its subsequent restitution remains an unsolved issue in many ways.