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Module II –  Property looted during the National Socialist era

Dates: August 30 and 31 – September 6, 7, 20, 21, 27 and 28, 2024

Teaching languages: French (FR) and English (ENG)




Between 1933 and 1945, when the National Socialist regime was in power in Germany and other countries in Europe were occupied by the Nazis, numerous objects were looted, stolen, acquired at a low price and/or confiscated from its rightful owner. Many items are still circulating on the art market today and/or are kept in public museums, without their current owners being aware of it. In such a context, the identification of these items has become an imperative for public museum institutions, which are subject to a duty of care under thICOM Code of ethics.


Provenance research has become one of the main disciplines of museum work. It refers to investigations designed to retrace the history of an object, whatever its nature, from its creation or discovery. More particularly, it aims to establish the changes of ownership between 1933 and 1945 and to ensure, in accordance with the "Washington Principles", that the object was not taken under duress from its rightful owner. The fundamental issue lies in the search for just and equitable solutions. To do this, it is necessary to take into account all the sources, surveys and research carried out to then document the results in an understandable way. 

[PDF] Download the module II flyer (FR)

[PDF] Download the module II registration form

Objectives of Module II

At the end of the training, participants will have acquired knowledge about:

  • the role of the Swiss Confederation and the current state of provenance research of looted property during the time of National Socialism in Switzerland;

  • the historical and political context;

  • the actors and actresses of provenance research;

  • the approaches to provenance research and the terminology specific to the discipline;

  • the formal analysis of assets and sources as well as their critical treatment;

  • the digital research tools for provenance research;

  • the moral, political and ethical issues related to provenance research;

Course programme (subject to change)

[PDF] Download the detailed programme for Module II (FR)


August 30, 2024 - Introduction | New international research approaches

Dr. Carolin Lange (ENG + FR), associate researcher, Institute for the History of the German Jews, University of Hamburg, and co-founder of Lange & Schmutz Provenienzrecherchen Sàrl

Deidre Berger (ENG), Chair Executive Board, Jewish Digital Cultural Recovery Project

Camille Noé Marcoux (FR), historian and art historian, provenance researcher associated with the Mission de recherche et de restitution des biens culturels spoliés entre 1933 et 1945, Ministry of Culture, Paris


August 31, 2024 - Introduction to project management | Family history | Current developments in Switzerland

Pauline Baer de Perignon (FR), author of “La collection disparue”, Éditions Stock, Paris, 2020

Dr. Nikola Doll (FR), Head of the Department of Looted Art and Provenance Research at the Federal Office of Culture, Bern

Dr. Thomas Schmutz (FR), co-founder of Lange & Schmutz Provenienzrecherchen Sàrl, full professor at the University of Neuchâtel


September 6, 2024 - Applied research | Case study (with Dr. Carolin Lange (ENG + FR))


September 7, 2024 - Best practices and unusual sources

Dr. Andrea Raschér (FR), lawyer, Raschèr Consulting (by videoconference)

Tal Bruttmann (FR), historian, Holocaust specialist, Univeristy of Cergy & Dr. Christoph Kreutzmüller (ANG), Freie Universität Berlin & Selma Stern Zentrum für Jüdische Studien

September 20, 2024 - Provenance research & History of emotions

Avishag Ben-Yosef (ENG et FR), Hebrew University, Israel

Dr. Yechiel Weizman (ENG), Bar-Ilan Univerity, Israel & Dr. Carolin Lange

September 21, 2024 - Cultural looting in Ukraine

Aleksandra Brodowska (ENG), National Institute of Cultural Heritage, Warsaw, Poland

Dr. Yurii Kaparulin (ENG), Kherson State University, Ukraine & Michigan State University, USA (by videoconference)


September 27, 2024 - Introduction Management - Design - Standardization of provenance research projects | Case study

Prof. Dr. Valérie Kobi (FR), assistant professor of modern art history and museology at the University of Neuchâtel & Pamella Guerdat (FR), Deputy Curator of Fine Arts and Head of Provenance Research, Musée Jenisch Vevey

Dr. Thomas Schmutz (FR)

September 28, 2024 - Case study | Exam | Conclusion

Dr. Thomas Schmutz & Dr. Carolin Lange (ENG et FR)

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