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 Ministry of Education, which issues recommendations regarding the restitution of works of art.
Of the 75 dossiers drawn up as of March 2012, 69 have been dealt with by the Art Restitution Committee. It recommended restitution in 39 cases concerning 63 works of art, and 48 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 14 cases involving 27 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.
16 cases involving 40 works of art do not fall within the jurisdiction of the 1998 Art Restitution Law (KRGG).
The Art Restitution Committee is currently working on 6 dossiers involving 11 works of art.
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Mag. Katinka Gratzer-Baumgärtner