Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 11:18 EDT

Harper Government Invests in Research on Holocaust-Era Artworks

April 24, 2013

OTTAWA, April 24, 2013 /CNW/ – The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, on behalf of the
Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official
Languages, today announced funding of almost $200,000 that will enable
Canadian museums to contribute to a key international research effort
on the provenance of Holocaust-era works of art.

The theft and displacement of art and other cultural property occurred
on an unprecedented scale in the context of the Second World War. In
partnership with six Canadian museums, the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization will undertake research and develop
best-practice guidelines to help the Canadian museum community address
the issue of Nazi-looted art. The project will also raise the
international profile of Canada in this field.

“Our Government has undertaken a range of efforts to identify and
facilitate the return of Nazi- confiscated art,” said Minister Moore.
“The Department of Canadian Heritage, its portfolio agencies, and the
Canadian museum community are working together to advance provenance
research, and a number of looted artworks have already been returned
from Canadian collections.”

The implementation of this project coincides with the beginning of
Canada’s term as Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance
Alliance, under the leadership of the Minister of Citizenship,
Immigration and Multiculturalism and Chairman Dr. Mario Silva. The
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is comprised of 31 member
countries committed to Holocaust education, remembrance, and
research–both nationally and internationally.

“Our Government is proud to support projects that enable Canadian
museums and art galleries to further their research on the provenance
of art. It is an important initiative for researchers and heirs around
the world who are trying to identify and locate artworks and other
cultural artifacts displaced during the Holocaust,” said Minister
Kenney during a conference at Carleton University, entitled If Not Now When? Responsibility and Memory After the Holocaust, held in recognition of Canada’s position as Chair of the International
Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

“The Canadian Art Museum Directors’ Organization believes that
empowering the museum community by providing best-practice guidelines
will give institutions the tools needed to further advance provenance
research on relevant works,” said Dr. Josephine Mills, President of the
Canadian Art Museum Directors’ Organization. “With the support of the
Government of Canada, directors of Canadian art museums and galleries
will develop their professional expertise and contribute to the
international call for transparency, justice and closure, in one of the
most sordid chapters of 20(th) century history.”

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $190,965 for this
project through the Collections Management component of the Museums Assistance Program. This Department of Canadian Heritage program provides funding to
Canadian museums and related institutions for projects that foster
excellence in museum activities and that facilitate access to the
treasures of our collective heritage.

SOURCE Canadian Heritage

Source: PR Newswire