In search of looted instruments

Spreading the word for some friends who are pursuing a good cause:

A report published in 2000 – the Mattéoli Report – highlighted the unsatisfactory progress achieved in restoring property looted from France during the Second World War. Since that date, however, the looting of Jewish property throughout Europe has been the subject of a considerable research. Box-office hits such as Monuments Men and Woman in Gold have also done much to bring the sensitive issue of art-work restitution into the limelight. Looted libraries, for example, are currently the subject of some attention. But the matter of looted musical instruments remains in the main ignored.

Nonetheless, we feel that the time has come to establish the history of looted musical instruments, as a mark of respect to their original owners and as an act of research on its own merits, with a view to establishing the singular and often complex trajectory of every surviving instrument.

No other organization dedicated to such a task as yet exists. Gather and record the last surviving witness accounts is our priority. But our aim is also to cross-reference various existing lists, exploit all available archival resources on the subject, and raise public awareness by alerting scientists and musicians, and registering new demands for restitution. 

Our webpage is:  www.musiqueetspoliations.com . Please don’t hesitate to use the contact form. In the near future, we shall return to you with a subscription form. We would be very  grateful if you would dispatch it around you.

 

Depuis la publication du rapport Mattéoli en 2000, la spoliation des biens juifs par les nazis à travers l’Europe a fait l’objet de nombreuses études et le succès de films tels que Monuments Men ou La Femme au Tableau ont largement contribué à faire la lumière sur la difficile question de la restitution des oeuvres d’art. Si la question des bibliothèques spoliées est aujourd’hui présente dans les esprits, celle des instruments de musique, elle, n’est que rarement abordée.

Notre association loi 1901 s’est donné pour mission d’éclairer ce pan encore obscur de notre Histoire récente. Si la priorité est donnée aux recueils des derniers témoignages directs ou indirects de cette douloureuse époque, l’association s’attachera également à établir et croiser les listes et bases de données existantes, explorer les archives, sensibiliser la communauté musicale et scientifique, encourager les publications, et accompagner les nouvelles demandes de restitution ou recherche de traçabilité.  

N’hésitez pas à consulter notre page web www.musiqueetspoliations.com et à utiliser le formulaire de contact. Nous reviendrons ultérieurement vers vous avec un formulaire d’adhésion que nous vous serions grées de bien vouloir diffuser autour de vous.

 

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  • Alexander says:

    “… now long live Love , and perish war , and all that wage it ! ….”
    G.Boccaccio, The Decameron

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