After the Commission for Provenance Research had been installed in Austria already beginning of 1998, the Federal Law concerning the Restitution of works of art from Austrian Federal museums and collections (BGBl. I Nr. 181/1998 idF BGBl. I Nr. 117/2009) was passed in parallel to the signing of the Washington Principles (Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art) on 3 December 1998. On the basis of this law, collective items which became federal property because or as a result of the NS-tyranny are to be given back to their original owners or their rightful heirs.
In order to research the provenance of collective items and for identification of such items, which had been dispossessed of their owners, scientific members of the Commission for Provenance Research were authorised to execute intensive search assignments within the individual federal collections.
Since Spring 2011 Mag.a Julia Eßl and Dr. Pia Schölnberger are operating at the Albertina as provenance researchers by order of the Commission for Provenance Research. It is in their duty to pursue the research already executed in an intensified manner by inspecting all collective objects which became part of the collection from 1933 until presence in regard to their provenance and previous owners. In questionable or disputable cases dossiers are being compiled, which are consequently being presented to the Art Restitution Advisory Board which gives recommendations to the Federal Minister of Education, Arts and Culture regarding a potential restitution.
The recommendations of the Advisory Board are published on the website of the Commission for Provenance Research.
In regard to the art collections indicated below, the Art Restitution Advisory Board has given a recommendation to the Federal Minister, whereof restitution was decided in 31 cases:
(last update: September 2013)