A database of art which was probably looted by the Nazis and is now held at Austrian museums, but which may be required to be sold, has been launched by the National Fund of the Republic of Austria to encourage identification by owners before such sales. The dates of the sales have not yet been published in the English language section but the entire database is now accessible in German at www.kunstrestitution.at. The full English version will be available in spring 2007. The database contains information on art which, according to provenance research, is “likely” to have been expropriated during the Nazi era. Under Austrian law, art looted in the Nazi era is to be returned to its rightful owners or their heirs. But the National Fund is required by statute to sell objects for which no owner is found and to distribute the proceeds to victims of the Nazi regime.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Nazi war loot to be sold'