31 August 2007

Finding Heirs: Genealogists, art organizations collaborate

Genealogists and art organizations are collaborating to locate heirs of Nazi-era art looted, confiscated or sold by force.

New Yorker Karen Franklin will speak on the "State of the Art" at 7.30 p.m. Tuesday, September 4, at the Jewish Family Research Association branch in Ra'anana, Israel.

Involved in tracing heirs and art object provenance for several organizations, Franklin stresses that collaboration among genealogists, local historians, archivists and museums helps to return looted Nazi-era artifacts - whether valuable art or more mundane items - to their original families.

She will present an overview of looted art issues in US and European Jewish museums and demonstrate how the international Jewish genealogical community is helping to solve ongoing European cases.

Doors open at 7 pm at the Jewish Family Research Association at Beit Fisher, 5 Rehov Klausner, Ra'anana. The program is open to the public. E-mail reservations are recommended, via Ingrid Rockberger, ingjoyrock@yahoo.com. JFRA members, NIS 5; others, NIS 20.

My story on Franklin's work appeared in today's (Friday, August 31) Jerusalem Post:

Karen Franklin of New York remembers the stormy night she stood in the pouring rain in the heart of the Venice Ghetto and solved an art restitution case by locating heirs in record time.

Franklin was at a museum conference when she received a frantic e-mail from the Netherlands' Origins Unknown Agency, asking for urgent help to find descendants of the Larsen family before a statute of limitations deadline ran out.

Click here to read the story.

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