Police officers and a painting
4 February 2019

A network of European panels for the restitution of spoliated property

On 1 January 2019, a network was established linking five panels in Europe committed to tracking down and returning Nazi-confiscated cultural property.
The Beratende Kommission im Zusammenhang mit der Rückgabe NS-verfolgungsbedingt entzogenen Kulturguts, insbesondere aus jüdischem Besitz (Germany), Kommission für Provenienzforschung (Austria), Commission pour l’indemnisation des victimes de spoliations (France), Restitutiecommissie (Netherlands) and Spoliation Advisory Panel (UK) have formed a network aimed at conducting joint action and sharing information about Nazi-confiscated art.

Searching for looted artworks is an immensely difficult task, and cross-border cooperation should help advance efforts in this regard. This principle had been raised during the International Conference held in London in September 2017. A year later, the five panels have decided to make this idea a reality and clarified the arrangements in accordance with the specific features of each panel.

The Commission pour l’indemnisation des victimes de spoliations (Commission for the Compensation of Victims of Spoliation/CIVS) which, in 2019, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary, will be heading up this network during its first year in operation. Its work programme includes:
  • setting up a shared information portal,
  • drafting a guide presenting what each of the different panels does, particularly for victims' heirs,
  • convening a working group in the spring,
  • organising an international conference at the end of the year.