Provenance and Restitution FAQ
WHAT ITEMS DO YOU PROVIDE RECOVERY AND RESTITUTION RESEARCH FOR?
We provide our Recovery and Restitution Research service for cultural property - works of art, books, archival documents, artifacts, manuscripts, and religious objects – stolen or looted and not yet restituted to their proper owners. This often involves items stolen or looted by Nazi officials between 1933-1945.
CAN I SUBMIT A TIP ANONYMOUSLY?
Yes. If you are aware of an artwork or artifact that was previously looted or stolen and now resides in a private collection, public institution, or other location, please contact us. If you wish to remain anonymous, this will absolutely be respected.
CAN I RETURN A PREVIOUSLY LOOTED OR STOLEN ITEM ANONYMOUSLY?
Yes. We act as a mediator in these situations, and will coordinate direct transfer of the item to us. We will then return the item to its rightful heir and the restitution will be recorded. Your anonymity will be protected.
I OWN AN ITEM THAT MAY HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY STOLEN OR LOOTED. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you are unsure, always check. If you don’t have a full provenance for an item, especially an item that changed hands between 1933-1945, you are at risk of facing prosecution for attempting to sell a stolen or looted piece. The item will also have very little value if a full provenance can not be provided. Any such items that you bequeath in an estate may also be lost to your heirs if a challenge against ownership is brought forward. You can utilize our provenance research service if you are concerned about any pieces in your collection.
IF I RETURN AN ITEM THAT WAS PREVIOUSLY STOLEN OR LOOTED, WILL I BE PROSECUTED?
No. We are grateful to you for doing the right thing by returning the item to its rightful heirs. Quite often, individuals are unaware that a piece they own or inherited was previously stolen or looted. We can also provide our provenance research service to you if you are concerned that a piece you own may have been previously stolen or looted. Your identity will also be kept anonymous if requested.