Washington, DC, USA – November 8, 2013 - The Holocaust Art Restitution Project ( HARP), based in Washington, DC, chaired by Ori Z. Soltes, has called on the German Government to immediately publish a full, detailed and complete inventory of the Cornelius Gurlitt art collection, and to set up a Commission to hasten the restitution process of Nazi-looted artworks to Holocaust victims and their heirs.
Following the disclosure by the weekly magazine Focus that the German Government has been in control of the Cornelius Gurlitt collection for several years, HARP, through its legal counsel, sent a letter to the German Ministry of Finance, Wolfgang Schäuble, calling on the German Government to immediately disclose a full, complete, and detailed inventory of this collection, and to establish a Commission to hasten the process of identification and restitution of any Nazi-looted artwork found in this collection.
“Any delay in implementing these steps would constitute grave injury to both the art market which requires that full and complete diligence be performed on any transaction, and to Holocaust survivors who have been looking for their artworks since 1945,” the letter states, which was also shared with Reinhard Nemetz, the Head of Augsburg State Prosecutor’s Office in charge of investigating Cornelius Gurlitt.
HARP is a not-for-profit group based in Washington, DC, and chaired by Ori Z. Soltes, dedicated to the identification and restitution of looted artworks require detailed research and analysis of public and private archives in North America. HARP has worked for 16 years on the restitution of artworks looted by the Nazi regime. HARP was notably involved in the "Portrait of Wally" case, where a Schiele painting was seized by the U.S. Government, as well as in the restitution of an “Odalisque”, a painting by Henri Matisse, to the Rosenberg family.
HARP is advised and represented by the Ciric Law Firm Firm, PLLC in New York, USA.