The provenance dossiers drawn up by the Belvedere are sent to the Commission for Provenance Research in the Federal Monuments Office and from there to the Art Restitution Committee in the Federal Chancellery, which issues recommendations regarding the restitution of works of art.
Of the 78 dossiers drawn up as of May 2015, 73 have been dealt with by the Art Restitution Committee. It recommended restitution in 42 cases concerning 64 works of art and 6 publications. 54 of these works have been handed back to the descendants of the former owners. The remainder will remain in the museum until the rightful heirs can be identified.
In 15 cases involving 28 works of art, the Committee advised against restitution. Among these were the 5 Klimt pictures from the Bloch-Bauer collection, which have subsequently been restituted, and also Edvard Munch’s Summer Night at the Beach from the Mahler-Werfel collection. In this latter case, the Committee reversed its negative decision of 1999 and on November 8, 2006 recommended that it be restituted to the heiress, to whom the painting was returned on May 9, 2007. The Comitee meeting on March 6, 2015 could not recommend the restitution of the Beethovenfries by Gustav Klimt from the Lederer collection.
The Art Restitution Committee is currently working on five dossiers involving ten works of art.
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Mag. Katinka Gratzer-Baumgärtner