Martin U.K. Lengemann for WELT
Following criticism of the Limbach Commission's inefficiency and unrepresentative membership, German Culture Minister Monika Grütters has undertaken to review the panel's structure and present a proposal for its reform.
Rüdiger Mahlo, Representative of the "Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany", calls for a law regulating the return of looted art in Germany as well as for unrestricted access to archives and information necessary for sound provenance research.
The Project "Provenance Research Gurlitt" promised to increase transparency and has digitised documents from Cornelius Gurlitt's estate, accessible at the Federal Archive. The objects' quality has been criticized as poor, lacking the necessary quality for in-depth provenance research.
Bavarian authorities have misused more than 10,000 confiscated artworks, entrusted to them by the US-authorities after World War II. In some cases, artworks were even sold back to former Nazis or their families.
The academic libraries in Germany have announced that they will cooperate closely in their efforts to identify objects in their collections that were stolen from Jewish families by the Nazi regime. They highlight that the establishment of a common research database is particularly necessary.
The Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and the Museum of Fine Arts Bern are planning joint exhibitions on the "Schwabing Art trove". The exhibitions shall present the current state of research in the Gurlitt case and increase transparency.
State Minister Monika Grütters is planning an exhibition of artworks belonging to Cornelius Gurlitt’s estate – even though ownership is still unclear. This demonstrates the Minister’s questionable handling and information policy with regard to the Gurlitt case.
The final report on the Taskforce "Schwabing Art Trove" was published by its leadership without the consent of the Taskforce’s members. The incident demonstrates the shortcomings in the organisation of the process.
The Taskforce “Schwabing Art Trove” has presented its results. There are many indications that Cornelius Gurlitt was only a pawn of the justice systems and politics.
In the aftermath of the Gurlitt case, pressure on Swiss museums to introduce a dispute resolution mechanism has increased. The Museum of Fine Arts Bern proposed a model based on the German Limbach Commission – most Swiss museums, however, have reacted cautiously.
Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress and Chairman of the Commission for Art Recovery, voices disappointment about the German Federal Government’s poor efforts to identify the rightful owners of looted art in Germany.
Charlotte Knobloch, former Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress, criticises the fact that even 70 years after the end of World War II, undiscovered looted art is being passed on from one generation to another, with the heirs often unaware of what they have inherited.