8 July 2004

Museums and galleries throughout the UK are publishing a further update on their research into the provenance of works in their collections covering the period 1933-45. The latest findings are being published on the internet today on:

Works that are listed on the website are not suspicious but their history for the WWII period is unknown and it is hoped that people will come forward with information that can confirm their provenance. Members of the public and potential claimants who have any information about the provenance of the works listed, or any other works in the museums collections, should write or e-mail the relevant institution with details of their enquiry.

Nine non-national museums are publishing updated lists of works with incomplete provenance, following further research. These include additions to the lists published in 2003.

  • Barber Institute of Fine Arts
  • Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
  • Bristol Museums & Art Gallery
  • Courtauld Institute Gallery
  • Fitzwilliam Museum
  • Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull
  • Glasgow Museums
  • Leicester City Museums
  • Manchester City Galleries

Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums are publishing a report and list of works with incomplete provenance between 1933-45 for the first time.

National museums, galleries and libraries are also continuing their research. In this group, Tate has added to its list works from the Oppé Collection with incomplete provenance between the years 1933-45. The majority of national museum have now completed their main areas of research.

The National Museum Directors' Conference gratefully acknowledges funding from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) towards the spoliation research programme.

For any general enquiries about the report, please contact: National Museum Directors' Conference Office on 020 7416 5202; Fax 020 7415 5485.

Notes to Editors:

In June 1998 the National Museum Directors' Conference established a working group to examine the issues surrounding the spoliation of art during the Holocaust and World War II period. The working group is chaired by Tates Director, Sir Nicholas Serota. Discussions by the working group resulted in a Statement of Principles and Proposed Actions for member institutions. The statement was finalised and adopted by the NMDC in November 1998 and presented to the Washington Conference on Holocaust Assets in December 1998.

In 1999 the UK's National Museums, Galleries and Libraries including the British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, National Galleries of Scotland, Imperial War Museum, Tate Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum, began a painstaking process of research to identify any suspect works in their collections. Details of the works which have been identified as having gaps or question marks in their provenance during the period 1933-45 are regularly updated and published on the internet.

An external advisory committee is reviewing progress and providing advice on the actions necessary to fulfil the statement of principles. The committee is chaired by the High Court Judge, Sir David Neuberger and includes Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, House of Lords (former Cabinet Minister, including Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport); Ms Anne Webber, Commission for Looted Art in Europe; Professor David Cesarani University of Southampton; Mr Mark Fisher MP, House of Commons (former Minister for the Arts); Sir Jack Baer and Lady Marina Vaizey.

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