The National Gallery London hosted on September 12, 2017 the much-anticipated conference “70 Years and Counting: the Final Opportunity?” organized by the United Kingdom Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport (DCCS), and the Commission for Looted Art in Europe (CLAE). Delegates from numerous countries gathered to consider the state of progress on the efforts to identify and return works of art lost during the Nazi era. While the event had a truly international flair, the discussion centered primarily on the five countries that have created some sort of process to consider assertions of looted art in response to the Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art: England, France, Austria, the Netherlands, and Germany.
Topics: National Gallery London, Department for Digital Culture Media & Sport, DCCS, Commission for Looted Art in Europe, CLAE, 70 Years and Counting: the Final Opportunity?, Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, Advisory Commission, Gabriele Finaldi, David Lewis, John Glen, Minister for the Arts Heritage and Tourism, UK Spoliation Advisory Panel, Sir Paul Jenkins, Dr. Antonia Boström, Victoria and Albert Museum, Imke Gielen, von Trott zu Solz Lammek, Simon Goodman, The Orpheus Clock, Sir Donnell Deeny, Jan Bank, Restitutions Committee of the Netherlands, Dr. Reinhard Binder-Krieglstein, Art Restitution Advisory Board, Kunstrückgabebeirat, Professor Dr. Reinhard Rürup, Jean-Pierre Bady, Commission pour l’indemnisation des victimes, CVIS, Richard Aronowitz-Mercer, Sotheby's, Christie's, Dr. Christian Fuhrmeister, British Library, Johannes Nathan, Nathan Fine Art, Margreet Soeting, Stedelijk Museum, Pierre Valentine, Constantine Cannon LLP, Monica Dugot, Martin Levy, H. Blairman & Sons Ltd., Katrin Stoll, Neumeister Auction House, Tony Baumgartner, Clyde & Co., Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
A recent loan to the National Gallery in London has grabbed headlines discussing the history of the painting, Portrait of Amalie Zuckerkandl, by Gustav Klimt, surrounding World War II and the persecution of Jews in Austria. Somewhat puzzlingly, the coverage has downplayed the fact that that very painting was already the subjective of an exhaustive proceeding in Austria that denied restitution, a decision reviewed and affirmed by the Austrian Supreme Court (though, apparently, also the subject of more recent requests for reconsideration). Should a claim for restitution or seizure be filed while the painting is outside Austria, in the UK or the US, it could have a troubling effect on respect for final judgments, as well as unintended consequences for restitution claimants who may find their judgments collaterally attacked elsewhere. As difficult as it may seem, the painting cannot be disturbed without putting a great deal more at risk.
Topics: Maria Altmann, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, Jonathan Jones, National Gallery London, the Guardian, Vita Künstler, Dr. Erich Führer, Beethoven Frieze, Belvedere, the United Nations Convention on the Recognition a, Jugendstil, Portrait of Amalie Zuckerkandl, Hermine Müller-Hofmann, Amalie Zuckerkandl, Restitution, Neue Galerie, World War II, Foreign Sovereign Immunities, Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna in 1900, Kokoschka, Secession, Secession Museum, Austria, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, Fin de siècle, Gustav Klimt, Vienna, Anschluss, UNCITRAL