About Us

Welcome to lootedartcommission.com, the Commission for Looted Art in Europe's webpage about its role, activities and achievements since it was founded in 1999.

This site provides examples of the Commission's cases, news stories about the Commission's work and details of the international principles which the Commission monitors and promotes.

Mission Statement

The Commission for Looted Art in Europe (CLAE), is an international, expert and non-profit representative body which researches, identifies and recovers looted property on behalf of families, communities, institutions and governments worldwide. It negotiates policies and procedures with governments and cultural institutions and promotes the identification of looted cultural property and the tracing of its rightful owners. It provides a Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property 1933-1945 at www.lootedart.com to fulfil Washington Principle VI which called for the creation of such a repository of information. CLAE is mandated to represent the European Council of Jewish Communities and the Conference of European Rabbis.

Here is a brief list of specific roles that the Commission provides and principles to which the Commission is committed:

  • Provides guidance, expertise and assistance to claimants worldwide and identifies, locates and recovers looted cultural property on their behalf
  • Works with museums, governments and other institutions to identify and locate looted cultural property and ensure its return to its rightful owners
  • Supports and pursues restitution claims and procedures in all countries
  • Promotes public policy and legislative change throughout Europe to enable the just resolution of these issues
  • Monitors and furthers developments in the implementation of international principles for dealing with looted cultural property and its restitution.
  • Works to establish codes of practice for the auction houses and the art trade, particularly with respect to the provision of provenance information and all other essential records
  • Promotes alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for resolving looted cultural property cases

Achievements 1999-2013

Since it was set up in 1999, CLAE has been instrumental in achieving the restitution of over 3,500 Nazi- looted objects to their rightful owners. These include paintings, drawings, silver, books and manuscripts, reflecting the range of cultural property stolen by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945.

Additionally, in this period, CLAE has provided its expertise to museums, libraries and the art trade in Europe, the USA and the Far East, in all aspects of claims handling, provenance research and family tracing.

In the field of policy, CLAE has negotiated new policies and procedures with European governments and European institutions. These include Resolution 1205 of the Council of Europe of November 1999 on the restitution of looted Jewish cultural property in Europe, the Final Declaration of the 2000 Vilnius Forum, the establishment of national claims processes, restitution procedures and other legislative and practical matters in a number of European countries, including Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, which have enabled the return of many Nazi-looted works of art.

For more information about CLAE and our services, please email us at info@lootedartcommission.com.

info@lootedartcommission.com · 76 Gloucester Place · London WIU 6HJ · +44 (0)20 7487 3401
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