19 Oct 2010

Stolen Holocaust art database online

9:19 am on 19 October 2010

A database cataloguing art stolen from Jewish families by the Nazis during WWII has gone online, in the hope that some of the art can be returned to descendants of the original owners.

Among the 20,000 items listed as stolen from occupied France and Belgium between 1940 and 1944 are works by Picasso, Chagall, Monet and Klimt.

The catalogue is a joint project of the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Art collectors, galleries and museums can also make use of the free service.

The Nazis often photographed their spoils and meticulously catalogued them on typewritten index cards, the BBC reports. Some of these records, which show what was seized and from whom, have now been digitised and made searchable.