The Ateneo Veneto, Venice, Italy, hosts an international conference on Nazi-looted art on 25 March 2022.

The objective of the conference is to raise awareness of the subject of Nazi-looted art in Italy, emphasizing the urgent need of provenance research in Italian art collections and offering practical solutions to those who in the years from 1933 to the mid 1990’s, have inadvertently acquired artworks stolen by the Nazis or forcibly sold during the Nazi era. Millions of artworks, books and other collectables were seized or forcibly sold during the years 1933 to 1945. Many such items were bought by collectors all over Europe and America in good faith. This was generally accepted until the Washington Conference on Holocaust Era Assets of 1998, and the increasing availability of online databases.

Even if, as a matter of Italian law, the heirs of owners dispossessed by the Nazis no longer have a legal claim because their claim is statute barred, the claim may not be barred in other countries such as the USA. Further, if an artwork is registered on a database of Nazi stolen art, it has no longer any commercial value because no reputable auction house or art dealer will handle it.

European art collectors faced with this predicament have taken steps to identify artworks in their collection with a questionable Nazi provenance, and to resolve the ownership issues affecting those artworks elegantly, confidentially, and fairly. This conference offers insights into how the art market, museums, heirs of victims of the Nazi regime and private collectors in possession of Nazi-looted have addressed the tensions inherent to these complex and emotional situations.

There have been few conferences in Italy on Nazi-looted art, and they have been rather academic in nature. This conference brings together experts from all over the world who “live and breathe” the subject to help collectors do “the right thing” by the families of victims of the Nazis whilst at the same time avoid passing the problem onto their families.

Details of the conference:

  • The conference is organised by Katharina Hüls-Valenti, a provenance researcher based in Venice, and Pierre Valentin, an art lawyer based in London
  • The conference will take place on Friday 25 March 2022
  • The venue of the conference is the Ateneo Veneto, opposite the opera La Fenice in the centre of Venice
  • The conference can be attended in person or online. Seats are limited to 80 (socially distanced) and allocated on a first come first served basis
  • The conference is free of charge
  • The conference will be in English with simultaneous Italian translation.

The conference is generously supported by Boies Schiller Flexner, Constantine Cannon LLP, Stonehage Fleming and DH Office.

The conference is held under the patronage of the Ateneo Veneto, The Fondazione per i Beni Culturali Ebraici in Italia, the Ufficio culturale dell’Ambasciata di Israele, Roma and the Consolato Generale della Repubblica Federale di Germania, Milano.,

Click here to read the programme, with the bios of the speakers. To attend the conference, please register through this link:

For more information, please contact Pierre Valentin at

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