Our experience has shown us that all objects tell a story. In the case of spoliated paintings, it is a story of identity, but also of loss and diaspora. Restitution, even of the smallest object, is the recovery of a world, an atmosphere or a memory that was lost and violated.
In the past decade, multiple archives have been made available online to the public. A vast amount of World War II archives has been digitized and are accessible to the public. Genealogy has enormously benefited from online archives and the search for ancestors and heirs has become less arduous. All these digital resources have contributed to facilitating provenance research.
Ultimately, searching for objects becomes a search for family history and our Getting Started page will set you in that direction. Our TIPS sheet provides some guidance for searching for looted art in the archives, download the slides to access the links.
Get inspired by the profile on Alain Montagle, a retired history teacher who has recovered several paintings belonging to his family.
Feel free to contact us for further guidance on where to start your search.