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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Nazi loot website expands
Jacopo Tintoretto's Lot and his Daughter
Lot and his Daughter is listed on the German website
A German website set up to trace the owners of thousands of works of art stolen from Jews during the Nazi era is extending its coverage to Austria.

The Co-ordination Office for Lost Assets (Cola) was contacted by an Austrian gallery which discovered gaps in the history of some of its exhibits.

The Joanneum State Museum in Graz believes 54 of its works may have been seized by the Nazis.

Cola, a government agency, established www.lostart.de following a 1998 agreement to step up efforts to return stolen art.

Its database contains the details of thousands of works held by museums and private collectors, suspected of being stolen as the Nazis invaded during World War II.

A large part of the list consists of works looted for a huge museum which Hitler was planning to build in his home town of Linz, in Austria.

They were discovered at the end of World War II, and although hundreds have been returned to their owners, more than 2,000 objects remain unclaimed and on loan to German museums.

Transparency

The museum in Graz has been attempting to reunite its works of art by listing them on another website.

But it has now hooked up with the German database in the hope that a wider audience will be reached, finally leading to the successful return of the treasures to their rightful owners.

Cola said it hoped the joint efforts would raise the chances of identifying and returning these objects.

So far, only two pieces have been returned to their original owners from federal collections since renewed efforts were started.

Culture minister Julian Nida-Ruemelin is encouraging German museums to check their collections thoroughly in a bid to increase the success rate.

See also:

23 Jul 01 | Arts
Stolen art returned to Germany
18 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Family compensated for Tate's Nazi art
08 Dec 00 | Americas
Canada probes Nazi loot
30 Oct 00 | Scotland
Burrell review over looting fears
29 Feb 00 | Scotland
Scottish galleries on 'looted' list
17 Feb 00 | UK
Hope for Nazi loot victims
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