May 2-4 “Accepting and Holding Objects ‘in Trust'” – Vienna
The question of how to deal with cultural property or looted property held “in trust” concerns libraries, archives, museums, and Jewish institutions.
While ordinary kinds of acquisition in cultural institutions, i.e. purchases, donations, deposit copies or exchanges, have been examined within the scope of NS provenance research, another type of transaction has been mostly overlooked so far. It concerns the transfer of objects with conditions attached, with institutions accepting items “in trust”, as loans or as legacies, or objects being allocated to institutions by the state, which occurred as part of NS book and art looting as well as in the course of later political developments.
On the basis of how libraries, archives and museums have so far dealt with cultural objects held “in trust”, national and international librarians, historians, curators and legal experts are invited to discuss structured procedures and lead an interdisciplinary debate on the requirements, chances and limits of appropriate measures concerning objects which have been illegally acquired and have been received “in trust”.< The conference is organised by the team Provenance Research at Vienna University Library in cooperation with the Department of Contemporary History of the University of Vienna, the Association of Austrian Librarians (VÖB), the Society for Book Research in Austria, the Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung und Restitution–Bibliothekenthe Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung e.V., the Department for Restitution Affairs of the Jewish Community Vienna and the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for the Victims of National Socialism.
In the course of the conference the 16th meeting of the Working Group NS provenance research within the Association of Austrian Librarians and the 7th meeting of the Working Group Provenienzforschung und Restitution – Bibliotheken is going to take place.