The Swiss government today started a new Internet portal to help claimants, museums and researchers track down art looted by the Nazis that has found its way to Switzerland, an art-market hub before and during World War II.
“There are few international processes, rules or accords to coordinate how we address the problem of looted art,” the Federal Culture Office said. “Expanding provenance research is an important step toward implementing the Washington Principles relating to art confiscated by the Nazis.”
Switzerland is one of 44 countries that endorsed the non-binding Washington Principles on returning Nazi-looted art in public collections in 1998. Under those international guidelines, governments pledged to find “just and fair” solutions for the victims of Nazi plundering and their heirs, and to allocate resources to identify stolen art.
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