The New York Times highlights the German governments decision to subsidize provenance research for private collections. Previously, state support was only available to search public institutions for works in need of restitution.
[Uwe] Hartmann [head of provenance research for the German Lost Art Foundation] said in recent years that he had seen an uptick in interest by private collectors who want to understand the origins of their art. He estimates reviews of a dozen collections are underway or have been completed. His office had long received the occasional package in the mail, containing an object the sender assumed was stolen, he said. Since the Gurlitt case, the parcels are more frequent, he said.
“We received four miniature paintings with a note saying, ‘We know our father was in Ukraine,’” Mr. Hartmann said. But all he could do, he said, was to send them back and post photographs on lostart.de, an online database that carries images of art with unclear provenance.
German Art Collectors Face a Painful Past: Do I Own Nazi Loot? (The New York Times)