About Christie’s Restitution

Christie’s Restitution

For over a quarter of a century, Christie’s has engaged with the legacy of Nazi-era and World War II art theft and dispossession. Losses during 1933–1945 to Europe’s collections, in particular those of Jewish collectors, through persecution, confiscation, and forced sales continue to resonate strongly in today’s art world.

Christies Restitution Klimt Birch Trees

Christie’s has the largest and most experienced Restitution team of any international auction house, underscoring our responsibility to this field. Located in New York, London, Berlin, Brussels, and Vienna, our researchers have over 100 combined years of experience. We have made Nazi-era provenance research a hallmark of our expertise and inextricably a part of the art historical framework.

Restitution

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Washington Principles, Christie’s Restitution team invites the public to engage in a virtual walking tour titled Lost in Berlin: Retracing the Weimer-era Art World.

This interactive tour chronicles the lost era of the Tiergartenviertel neighborhood, once the center of Berlin’s art world during the period between the two world wars. Including interactive virtual maps, texts, photographs and more, Lost in Berlin will feature pre-war landmarks and stories of Jewish art-world luminaries. The restitution department invites you to explore the exhibitions, homes, and offices that once encompassed Berlin’s art scene.

Enter Interactive Map

We take very seriously our commitment to sellers, buyers, and claimants alike to:

  • Ensure Christie’s does not knowingly offer spoliated but unrestituted art works – providing confidence that artworks are vetted
  • Research provenance – expanding scholarship around the history of collecting and the art market
  • Support the resolution of restitution claims for consigned artworks – advocating in the spirit of the Washington Principles, for fair and amicable solutions

In this, we are privileged to work as both part of the art world and as part of the restitution community. We invite you to contact one of our specialists should you have a restitution or provenance query.

Image credits:
(Hero) Detail: FRANZ MARC, The Foxes(Die Füchse), Christie’s London, March 2022.
Restituted by the city of Düsseldorf to the heirs of Kurt & Else Grawi

VINCENT VAN GOGH, Meules de Blé
Christie’s New York, November 2021.
Sold pursuant to a settlement agreement between the previous owner, the heir of Max Meirowsky and heirs of Alexandrine de Rothschild

GUSTAV KLIMT (1862-1918), Birch Forest
Christie’s New York, November 2006; Christie’s New York, November 2022
Restituted to the heirs of Adele and Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer by the Republic of Austria