Dossier: The Guelph Treasure


    The Cupola Reliquary at the Kunstgewerbemuseum

The Cupola Reliquary at the Kunstgewerbemuseum © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Fabian Fröhlich

Dossier The Guelph Treasure

The Guelph Treasure is one of the most important collections of medieval ecclesiastical art. It has been the subject of a restitution claim since 2008. In 2015, a lawsuit seeking restitution was filed in the U.S. SPK believes this lawsuit has no merit.

The Guelph Treasure (Welfenschatz) is kept at the Berlin Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) and is one of the most important collections of medieval German ecclesiastical art. Forty-two objects of the Guelph Treasure have been the subject of a restitution claim since 2008. In 2015, several plaintiffs filed a lawsuit seeking restitution before a court in Washington, D.C.

The Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) has extensive experience in provenance research, with particular expertise in matters related to Nazi-looted art. It conducted thorough scholarly research into the circumstances surrounding the 1935 purchase of the Guelph Treasure objects by a consortium of art dealers, and concluded that the conditions for restitution in accordance with the Washington Principles were not met.

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