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Between Lost and Found. Notes on historical aspects of transition of art objects from the Berlin Sculpture Collection during and after WWII

Anastasia Yurchenko


This paper provides an insight into the destiny of translocated art objects from the Berlin Sculpture Collection after WWII. Numerous pieces of art were lost, damaged and moved to the USSR; some objects were returned to the GDR in the 1950s, others remained in the Soviet Union. The author explains a methodology for their identification. By studying the complex ways of their translocations after WWII the author analyses materials related to the activities of the Soviet trophy brigades, including condition reports upon the arrival of the German art works in the Soviet museums. The analysis is focused on the artworks from the Byzantine and Sculpture Collections of the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum in Berlin. The paper concludes with a plea for the continuation of research to enable filling the gaps in our knowledge concerning the destiny of translocated artworks and reconstruct their history.