Rome, Italy – 8th to 12th December 2014

From 8-12 December 2014, the fifth Provenance Research Training Program (PRTP) was conducted in Rome, Italy by the European Shoah Legacy Institute in partnership with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism and in cooperation with the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the Commission for Art Recovery (Europe). Forty participants from fourteen countries across three continents took part in the comprehensive workshop, which was jointly hosted by the Jewish Community of Rome and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism.

The workshop was jointly conducted by distinguished provenance researcher and co-founder of the Holocaust Art Restitution Project, Mr Marc Masurovsky, and noted jurist, Ms Irina Tarsis, of the Center for Art Law in New York. The workshop also played host to a number of eminent guest speakers, including Agnes Peresztegi – Executive Director of the Commission for Art Recovery (Europe); Evelien Campfens – Director of the Dutch Restitution Committee; Monica Dugot – Senior Vice President and International Director of Restitution at Christie’s Auction House in London; Thierry Bajou – representative of the French Ministry of Culture and author; and Konstantin Akinsha – art scholar and author.

The PRTP Rome workshop was developed around the complimentary themes of research, history, and ethics, and was conducted with particular focus on:

Analytical and methodological tools that can serve to comprehend the complexity of the topics under study, to visualize patterns, and to compare these processes and their international impact;

The impact of cultural plunder on collection management practices in museums and other cultural institutions;

Providing a core understanding of the displacement of cultural objects throughout pre-war Europe, wartime plunder and its impact on collecting practices and the international art market, and post-war efforts to recover looted cultural assets; and

The ethical implications of cultural plunder during the Nazi era, current international policies, and art trade practices.

The workshop was attended by representatives from national ministries of a number of European countries, curators and senior collection managers from some of the leading public and private museums in Europe and North America, academics from universities in Canada and the United States, independent researchers, doctoral candidates, and both undergraduate and postgraduate students.