English Version of the Art Database of the National Fund for Victims of National Socialism is Online

Since 3 July 2007 the art database of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism has also been available in English. At www.artrestitution.at the art database provides information in English on art and cultural objects that have remained “heirless”, and which were likely to have been confiscated during the Nazi era in Austria and have since come under public ownership.

The German language version of the art database was launched on 17 October 2006 at the address www.kunstrestitution.at. The platform aims to enable victims of Nazi art theft to carry out a targeted search for objects in the possession of the museums and collections of the Republic of Austria that were once seized and are now liable for restitution.

The art database contains a catalogue that is arranged according to category and currently contains over 8,500 art and cultural objects held by the museums or in the collections of the Republic of Austria or the City of Vienna. The majority of objects published in the database are subject of art restitution proceedings. The content of the art database is continually updated.

The publication of objects in the art database occurs in cooperation with the museums concerned and Austrian provenance research bodies. It aims to help establish which objects may be liable for restitution. To this end, every object is described in accordance with art history criteria and information on the present status of the restitution is provided for each object. This enables entitled persons to identify art objects and lay claim to them before they are sold by the National Fund, with the proceeds going to help the victims, as stipulated by law.

The Austrian measures on art restitution provides for art objects that are under public ownership and were acquired in conjunction with the Nazi regime to be returned to their original owners or the heirs of the original owners. The National Fund of the Republic of Austria has been commissioned to sell art in the possession of the Republic of Austria or the City of Vienna that is eligible for restitution but for whom no entitled recipients can be found. The proceeds are used to benefit the victims of National Socialism.