March 17, 2015
Donation of 500 copies of Beyond the Dreams of Avarice: The Hermann Goering Collection to the German Centre for Lost Cultural Property in Berlin
From left: Dr. Günter Winands (Founding Director of the German Centre for Lost Cultural Property); Robert Edsel, and Prof. Dr. Uwe Schneede, Honorary Director of the Centre and former director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle Art Museum (Photo: Henning Schacht).
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Berlin, Germany (March 17, 2015) - Today at the Bundeskanzleramt (Federal Chancellery), Dr. Günter Winands, Founding Director of the German Centre for Lost Cultural Property and Prof. Dr. Uwe Schneede, Honorary Director of the Centre and former director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle Art Museum welcomed Robert M. Edsel, Chairman of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art and author of The Monuments Men, who presented them with 500 copies of the book, Beyond the Dreams of Avarice: The Hermann Goering Collection by Nancy Yeide, a study devoted to Goering's entire paintings collection. The Monuments Men Foundation has donated these books to Germany to distribute to provenance researchers across the country to further their research into Nazi-era looting. As one of the most influential politicians in the Nazi party, Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering succeeded in amassing a vast collection of confiscated artwork. Beyond the Dreams of Avarice: The Hermann Goering Collection provides the first opportunity to look at his collection as a whole and evaluate its place within art collecting and the history of Nazi looting. The volume is a culmination of seven years of research by Ms. Yeide, an internationally recognized expert in World War II-era provenance research and co-author of The AAM Guide to Provenance Research, which helped define provenance research standards in the United States.
Dr. Günter Winands and Prof. Dr. Uwe Schneede both represent the newly founded "Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste" (German Center for Lost Cultural Property) whose tasks will include those of the earlier Coordination Office for Lost Cultural Assets (Koordinierungsstelle Magdeburg), which launched the website www.lostart.de in April 2000, and of the Office for Provenance Research (Arbeitsstelle für Provenienzforschung). The Center will be the central point of contact for anyone searching for, or conducting research into Nazi-looted art. Their goal is to coordinate, strengthen, and expand the countless activities and facilities of provenance research. The Centre's main task will be to advise and fund public institutions in Germany in their search for Nazi-looted art. It is also charged with developing new offers for private collectors and private museums that voluntarily comply with the Washington Principles.
"On behalf of the German Centre, we want to express our thanks and appreciation to Mr. Edsel and the Monuments Men Foundation for this unprecedented and important donation," stated Dr. Günter Winands. "The creation of the German Centre for Lost Cultural Property is an important milestone in examining the history of Nazi-era looting in Germany. With the center we modernize the search for looted art in museums, libraries and archives in a sustainable manner. This volume by noted expert Nancy Yeide will facilitate the work of researchers across Germany and further our important efforts."
"I created the Monuments Men Foundation to honor the legacy of the Monuments Men and complete their mission identifying and returning works of art and other cultural objects missing since World War II to their rightful owners," said Mr. Edsel. "In the years that followed the end of the war, the Monuments Men and women identified and returned some four million items to the countries from which they had been taken. Less known is their work returning almost one million works of art and cultural objects to German museums and individuals. Even so, hundreds of thousands of objects remain missing, including many that belong in Germany. It is our hope that through this donation, and in a larger context, the work of the Monuments Men Foundation and its 1-866-WWII-ART toll free number, many missing works of art will be located and returned to their rightful owners."
For more information about the Monuments Men Foundation: www.monumentsmenfoundation.org For Interview Requests with Robert Edsel: Christy Fox: 646-246-3743; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org