Areas of Focus

Restitution of Works of Art

The issue of restitution of works of art has formed one of the special areas of focus for the Jewish Community of Vienna (the IKG Vienna) since the summer of 1999. Employees of the IKG Vienna are co-opted members of the Commission for Provenance Research, as well as non-voting members of the Vienna Restitution Commission. The Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK), as the competent authority for art restitution, regularly approaches the IKG Vienna, as do various provincial museums and collections, with requests to identify the legal successors in art restitution cases. In its restitution reports of the last ten years, and most recently in its 2010 Culture Report the Federal Ministry, has described the work of the IKG Vienna as making "a key contribution" to the issue.
The IKG Vienna acts as a mediator vis-à-vis public institutions; furthermore, in connection with art restitution, its carries out political monitoring activities. Over the last few years the IKG Vienna has repeatedly pointed out the existing problems and deficiencies in the 1998 Art Restitution Act.
Based on initiative from the IKG Vienna, the Amendment to the Art Restitution Act was passed by the Austrian Parliament in November 2009.
However, even after the amendment the Leopold Museum Private Foundation remains outside of the provisions of the Art Restitution Act (see also: