Provenance Guide

Resource theme: 
Export, Acquisition & Due diligence
Litigation, Return & Restitution
Resource type: 
Tools & Practices - Guidelines
International Foundation for Art Research
Language of publication: 

IFAR’s expansive Provenance Guide may also be helpful in the fight against the illicit traffic in cultural goods. Until recently, provenance research (the history of ownership) was the province of art scholars dealing primarily with issues of attribution and authenticity. But legal claims by heirs of Holocaust victims whose art works were looted or otherwise misappropriated by the Nazis, and claims by foreign “source” countries for objects they believe were exported in violation of patrimony or export laws, have raised awareness of the need for provenance research in regard to due diligence in acquiring works of art. Provenance research is often painstaking and not easy to do, and not every work has a discoverable provenance. IFAR’s Provenance Guide can serve as a starting point for anyone interested in provenance research.