Online since:
June 6, 2009

Database on the "Munich Central Collecting Point"


The “Munich Central Art Collecting Point”

The “Central Art Collecting Point” was the name given the collection center for art that the American Forces’ Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Service (MFA&A Service) set up in the former National Socialist Party buildings in Munich after the end of World War II. The task was to bring artworks that had been looted, confiscated, or sold on the art market in the German Reich or in the areas under its occupation between 1933 and 1945 from the repositories to the MCCP for inventorying and subsequent restitution. Objects were already being returned to their countries of origin and to private individuals in Germany and abroad as early as the fall of 1945. All of the art works, with the exception of only a few thousand objects, were returned at that time—something that the public is generally unaware of.


It is thanks to the cooperation of the Bundesamt für zentrale Dienste und offene Vermögensfragen (BADV) [Federal Office for Central Services and Unresolved Property Issues], the Bundesarchiv Koblenz [German Federal Archives], the Bundesministerium der Finanzen (BMF) [Federal Ministry of Finance], the Deutsche Historische Museum (DHM) [German Historical Museum] and the Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB) as well as the Zentrum für Informationsverarbeitung und Informationstechnik (ZIVIT) [Central Information Processing and Information Technology], office Berlin, that this enormous database could go online at all. These institutions' collaboration first made it possible for the BMF, ZIVIT and BADV staff members to digitally scan the file cards from the Bundesarchiv. The DHM, working together with the ZIB, then processed the resulting data files and now makes them available on its homepage at no charge. This data is complemented by the file cards and black-and-white photographs from the BADV archives and the file cards from the Bundesdenkmalamt [Austrian Federal Office for the Care of Monuments] in Vienna.


Until now, the large number of file cards sorted by their Munich numbers made systematic research impossible. The database’s allowing of research without knowledge of the Munich inventory number makes it an extremely important tool for the provenance research as well as for the investigation of unsolved cases involving looted art. This applies to individual research as well as to the exploration of complex interrelationships such as those found, for instance, in the art trade through the use of the file cards from the Bundesarchiv. The database can serve to identify works that have not so far been revealed to be forced sales. In addition, it offers information on artworks that were returned to their owners after 1945 and have not since been publicly exhibited. Research with the database can be carried out for artworks in museums or in private hands. The database is equally useful regarding those artworks that remained in the MCCP at the time of its closure. These works were transferred to the German government at that point and are today researched by the BADV.

>> More about the files

The MCCP database now allows a search according to various criteria such as:

  • Inventory Number
  • File / Database
  • Object / Title
  • Material / Technique
  • Artist
  • Keyword

Now, after more than 50 years, the database makes it possible to search without knowledge of the Munich inventory number for masterpieces from Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens or Cranach, for antique sculptures and objects from the applied arts such as tapestries, faience wares and ceramics, as well as for books and numismatic objects.

A more precise search will result if it is carried out for the English term as well as for the German term. This is because the file cards’ original languages have been transcribed.

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