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Despite efforts by a reunited Germany to regulate "pending property issues", cultural heritage institutions are still having to address questions of museum ethics: Is it right that nationalized property dating from 1945–1990 forms part of public collections? What kinds of dispossessions took place? Who were those involved? When and under what circumstances did the objects make their way into public collections? From where?
These questions are of cross-border interest. Confiscated private collections and items of uncertain origin from the "Museumsfonds der DDR" (East Germany's museum stock), were exchanged for foreign currency on the international art market.
One of the functions of the German Lost Art Foundation is to investigate the confiscations of cultural goods in the Soviet Occupation Zone and East Germany, an area of research it has been facilitating since 2017.
Mathias Deinert, Uwe Hartmann und Gilbert Lupfer, German Lost Art Foundation, Magdeburg
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