Louvre
The Louvre Museum in Paris.

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It has drawn up what it calls an action plan which includes research, films, lectures and educational projects.

Sotheby’s is sponsoring the activities for a three-year period.

The firm said it was the first international auction house to have a department dedicated to provenance research and restitution which was founded in 1997, a year before the Washington Conference on Stolen Nazi Art. 

This is made up of a team of restitution experts based in London and New York, supplemented by consultants. A large part of their mission is to help current owners of works of art that were moved between 1933-45 to research the history of these works and, subsequently, to find a solution to claims in the best interests of all parties.

In a statement the Louvre said: “The spoliation of art and cultural objects belonging mainly to Jewish families was systematic during the occupation. France is, in this sense, generally considered to be one of the countries most affected by the spoliation of works of art.”

The Louvre ‘action plan’ includes a programme that is part of the 15th edition of ‘International Days of Films on Art’ which has a theme on the art market under the occupation in France. The event takes place on January 27, followed by a study day dedicated to provenance research on February 2.