“Collected at Any Cost!”
On 21 April 2023, the exhibition "Collected at Any Cost!", supported by the National Fund, opens at the Vienna Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art. It asks why certain objects came into the museum as a result of the Nazi regime in Austria and how best to deal with them.
The exhibition sheds light on Nazi looting, law and restitution. It presents research on the origin of museum artefacts and their acquisition, and traces their whereabouts through the years to the present day. In doing so, the complex methodology employed in Nazi provenance research and restitution in Austria are presented to a broader public. At the heart of the exhibition is the extensive Mautner Collection, which the Vienna Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art was able to return to its rightful owners.
The National Fund assists the art restitution committees of the Federal Government and the City of Vienna with their search for heirs. In addition, for over 15 years now it has been running a comprehensive online art database, which contains information on more than 9,000 objects of questionable provenance held in public collections and museums of the Republic of Austria, the City of Vienna, the provinces and other institutions. Victims whose art was looted by the Nazis, or their descendants, can use the database to conduct a targeted search for specific artworks that are come in question for restitution.
The art database of the National Fund contains 329 entries relating to objects at the Vienna Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art.