By visiting www.artloss.com you can:
- Register a lost or stolen item
- Search to see if an item is lost or stolen
As a potential purchaser you will want to avoid spending money for something to which you cannot legally obtain clear title.
There is a fee to carry out the single search request, $75, paid to Art Loss Register.
About four telephone calls a year start out “A relative of mine brought back this artwork following World War II.”
This comment always brings to mind the possibility that it was obtained intentionally or unintentionally in such a way that the artwork still belongs to someone else.
These websites named by IFAR.org may be useful to investigate that possibility.
The Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property, 1933-1945
Commission for Looted Art in Europe (CLAE)
The Documentation Project
The Frick Art Reference Library
The Lost Art Internet Database
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
New York State Holocaust Claims Office
Corinne Cain of www.SavvyCollector.com
Doing a little homework is better than crossing your fingers, hoping all is well.