Press Releases

Bavaria to investigate return of art to high-ranking Nazi families – Dombauverein commits to restitution of Kraus family painting

Joint Press Release by the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz and Commission for Looted Art in Europe on ‘Pariser Platz in Berlin’ by Oskar Kokoschka

The Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz is working with the Commission for Looted Art in Europe to clarify the provenance of the painting ‘Pariser Platz in Berlin’ by Oskar Kokoschka. The Commission for Looted Art in Europe represents the family of Anna Caspari, a distinguished dealer in Munich who was deported from Germany and murdered by the Nazis in Riga in 1941. The artwork belonged to the Caspari family / the Galerie Caspari.

Hermann Parzinger, President of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, comments: ‘We have agreed to extensive collaboration with the representatives of the family. Therefore, I hope that we can clarify as soon and thoroughly as possible the circumstances of the acquisition. All further decisions must be founded on established knowledge of the historical acquisition circumstances as well as the history and ownership of Galerie Caspari. It is good that we take a step forward on this path.’ The SPK and the Commission will be working together to research the entire collection of Anna Caspari and the circumstances of its loss.

Anne Webber and David Lewis, Co-Chairs of the Commission said: ‘Anna Caspari suffered a terrible fate at the hands of the Nazis and we are glad to be working jointly with the SPK, which holds many paintings originally owned by her, to shed light on the circumstances of the loss of her art collection.’

As soon as further information is available the SPK and the Commission will publicise the results. During the process of the research and ongoing talks, both parties have agreed upon confidentiality.

The painting, a work from the collection of the Nationalgalerie Berlin, hung in the office of the president of the SPK until a few weeks ago. It had been taken down from the wall, as the possibility of a loss due to Nazi persecution could not be excluded any longer. In the context of the news coverage on Oskar Kokoschka’s painting ‘Pariser Platz in Berlin’ on the 9 and 10 April 2014 Hermann Parzinger stressed that the foundation will do everything to clarify the provenance of the painting swiftly. Should it emerge that the painting was lost due to Nazi persecution, the SPK and the Commission will work towards a fair and just solution according to the Washington Principles.

Notes to Editors

The Commission for Looted Art in Europe (CLAE) is an international, expert and non-profit representative body which researches, identifies and recovers cultural property looted during the Nazi era on behalf of families, institutions and governments worldwide. It negotiates restitution policies and procedures and promotes the identification of looted cultural property and the tracing of its rightful owners. CLAE is mandated to represent the European Council of Jewish Communities and the Conference of European Rabbis. For more information on CLAE and its recent work please visit the following website www.lootedartcommission.com.

The Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property 1933-1945
(The Central Registry) is an international research centre and repository of information on Nazi art looting and restitution. It provides detailed research and up-to-date news and information from over 49 countries and an online database of over 25,000 looted or missing objects from 12 countries. The Central Registry is a charitable body, operating under the auspices of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, an independent unit of Oxford University. Ambassador Stuart E Eizenstat, Special Advisor on Holocaust Issues to Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is Honorary Chairman of both CLAE and the Central Registry. For more information please visit the following website www.lootedart.com.

Co-chairs of CLAE: Anne Webber and David Lewis
Contact: +44 20 7487 340,
info@lootedartcommission.com

Issue date: 29th April 2014

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