Three Looted Paintings in Berlin’s Collection


Three paintings from the collection of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and the state of Berlin have been found to be Nazi loot. Sixty-one other works of the 450 to undergo thorough provenance research were unable to be definitively ruled out as having been looted in the lead up to World War Two, the Handelsblatt reports.

According to officials, a selection of the works where status has been unable to be determined will go up on, Germany’s clearing house for Nazi looted artworks. In most cases, gaps in their provenance have arisen due to destroyed archival materials and business records. The foundation did not confirm the exact works that had been determined to be loot, only that there were two by Max Slevogt and one by Franz Marc.

The research concludes a three year long, €500,000 effort by the state—€150,000 of which was paid for by the foundation—to determine provenance for all works currently held in its collection of 20th century art. The effort was undertaken due to mandates within the Washington Principles of 1998, which requests all public institutions to review their holdings. The Gurlitt saga sparked further haste to complete the project.

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