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Los Angeles Conference to Shed Light on Looted Art Treasures of the Holocaust


Los Angeles Conference to Shed Light on Looted Art Treasures of the Holocaust

"Righting a Wrong: The Future of Nazi Looted Art Recovery in the US and Abroad" to focus on stolen treasures of Holocaust victims, and the path to returning these Nazi-plundered artifacts

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- During WWII hundreds of thousands of prized artworks and valuables were stolen from the Jewish and other victims of the Nazi Party. Estimates have placed as much as one-fifth of all the artworks in Europe as stolen property by the Nazi's over the course of a decade. These artworks include important paintings, sculptures, drawings, books, pottery, all looted without proper documentation. These heirlooms have been lost and scattered across the globe, many being traded or sold on illegal markets. In recent years, massive holdouts of these pieces have been found, often being kept in conditions that could lead to deterioration and destruction. New efforts are helping to reunite victims and their heirs with these important historical artifacts. Cypress LLP and Sotheby's Institute of Art are proud to co-present a conference focused on the steps that can be taken in this important process, "Righting a Wrong: The Future of Nazi Looted Art Recovery in the US and Abroad" on September 26, 2018 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Uncovering these lost treasures is often a slow path with no systematic approach, sometimes never reaching a resolution. The process includes researching and sorting through hundreds of thousands of documents, letters, and photographs in order to properly verify ownership. In many cases, these pieces are the last remnant of a loved one or many loved ones who were lost during the tragic events of the Holocaust. The process can be emotional and distressing, with provenance of a piece being difficult to trace throughout the dark years of hiding in undocumented locations. More than 20,000 pieces of art, including masterpieces by Klimt, Matisse, Monet and Picasso, were stolen and often displayed before being burned or entering the illegal markets. Even after the fall of Nazi Germany, many descendents of the Nazi looters kept the art in secret to later sell or display in private collections.

This September 26, 2018 conference will help to change the difficulties in finding and recovering the looted art. Details on the best resources for provenance, litigation, legal complexities, and the ethical duties of museums and the art market will all be covered through a series of panels. The event includes speakers from around the world with a variety of specialties and background work on the subject. The panels are as follows:

  • Finding and Recovering Nazi Looted Art
    • Eyal Dolev, Provenance Researcher (Tel Aviv)
    • Simon Goodman, Author 'The Orpheus Clock' (Los Angeles)
    • Professor Jonathan Petropolous, Claremont McKenna College, Author of 'The Faustian Bargain: The Art World in Nazi Germany' (Los Angeles)
    • Moderator: Richard Aronowitz-­Mercer, Head of Restitution, Europe Sotheby's (London)
  • Bringing Claims
    • Laurence Eisenstein, Partner, Eisenstein Malanchuk LLP (Washington D.C.)
    • Lothar Fremy, Partner, Rosbach & Fremy (Berlin)
    • Nicholas O'Donnell, Partner, Sullivan & Worcester LLP (Boston)
    • Thaddeus Stauber, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP (Los Angeles)
    • Moderator: Mark Labaton, Partner, Cypress LLP (Los Angeles)
  • What Can Museums Do?
    • Stephen Clark, General Counsel, Vice President, Getty Institute (Los Angeles)
    • Simon Frankel, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP (San Francisco)
    • Jutta von Falkenhausen, Attorney (Germany)
    • Moderator: Bob Muller, Partner, Cypress LLP (Los Angeles)
  • What Can the Art Market Do?
    • René Gimpel, Art Dealer (London)
    • Lucian Simmons, Senior Vice President, Provenance and Restitution, Sotheby's (New York)
    • Isabel von Klitzing, Provenance Researcher (Germany)
    • Moderator: Daniel McClean, Partner, Cypress LLP (Los Angeles)

As the time these valuables have been kept away from their rightful owners increases, this important work will continue to become more difficult. The event hopes to inform and inspire attendees to recognize the pressing need to begin this hunt sooner rather than later. By combining the efforts of victims, descendants, museum specialists, and the art world, this united effort can lead to the rightful return of these lost treasures to families who have already suffered through one of the darkest periods in history.

For full details and registration information, please visit the conference website

Media contact:
B. Johnston 

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