The Art Database of the National Fund
In 1998/1999 the National Fund of the Republic of Austria was legally assigned the responsibility to dispose of art works "without heirs" that had been transferred from public property for the benefit of NS victims.
For this purpose, an art database was set up with the National Fund in cooperation with the bodies working on art restitution, public museums and collections.
The art database contains information on objects of art and on objects of cultural value which are located today in museums and in collections of the Republic of Austria or of the City of Vienna and which, according to current provenance research, are likely to have been expropriated during National Socialism. The publication of the art database takes place in cooperation with the museums and with those commissions in Austria tasked with tracing the provenance of the artwork obtained during the Nazi era. This measure aims at clarifying whether or to whom the objects should be restituted. Next to every single object you will find information regarding its restitution status.
According to Austrian law, works of art, which were looted under National Socialism in Austria, shall be returned to the original owners or to their legal successors. It is a statutory task of the National Fund to sell those objects for which no rightful owner can be found and to distribute the proceeds to victims of the National Socialist regime. Before the actual sale of the objects, the National Fund offers the possibility of identifying restitutable art objects by providing an art database on the Internet.