Looted Art Restitution
International Genealogical Research
In some instances the whereabouts or details of some of the branches of a family may be unknown or uncertain. Mondex can help by determining such family history facts and helping to prove the entitlement of the beneficiaries.
International Probate Research
It is often the case that the descendants of a family member who was despoiled during the Second World War may be unaware of the existence or location of a Will that may govern the distribution of any recovered artworks. In other instances the heirs of the despoiled person may have post-deceased and in such cases their Wills may be required in order to proceed with the distribution of a recovered artwork. In these instances Mondex is able to search internationally for Letters of Probate, Certified Wills and for Letters of Administration in order to expedite the recovery process and to ensure that each family member receives their rightful share of their inheritance.
Vital Statistic Documents
To help prove the entitlement of its clients the relevant birth, adoption, marriage, divorce and death certificates can often be required. Mondex typically obtains, collates, translates and certifies such documents on behalf of its clients, when and where required.
Mondex’s in-house legal counsels conduct legal research in Canada as well as in other countries to help address any legal questions or challenges that may arise. Mondex’s legal counsels are also often involved in the preparation of statutory declarations (affidavits) as well as with obtaining and organizing the various exhibits required to prove the entitlement of Mondex’s clients to the family’s despoiled works of art. As Mondex’s legal counsels have extensive experience in this field, together with extensive experience in fine art, Mondex is able to provide an excellent level of service in both an efficient and expeditious manner. In addition any such evidence found and used by Mondex is typically translated, certified and organized by Mondex for use in our clients’ claims.
Purchasing an important artwork is a significant investment that carries with it enormous risk. Only when a reputable art dealer or auction house will offer you an unlimited guarantee, to indemnify you from the liability or purchasing a stolen artwork, will that risk be significantly reduced. To protect yourself from such liability you should certainly consider hiring an expert provenance research company and one with a great deal of international experience and expertise. Mondex’s professional, multilingual and international team of researchers is comprised of expert art historians who are able to conduct extensive research into the history of an artwork that you are considering to purchase. The protection of a third party, which is objective, can help protect your purchase for generations and is a very wise investment of time, energy and resources.
One of the other benefits of retaining the services of Mondex is that Mondex is able to help its clients with the recovery of other assets, other than those of looted works of art. This has a financial benefit to our clients and the research, related to such assets searched, can also yield important answers that can be helpful with the search for looted art.
Mondex is proactive in protecting the rights of its clients by conducting the research necessary to locate works of art that were looted from its clients and by liaising with police and government agencies, institutions, museums, auction houses and other organizations in order to ensure the efficient recovery of such important works of art.
Mediation & Negotiation
Once a work of art has been located by Mondex, and after Mondex has prepared in advance for a possible legal claim, Mondex contacts the possessor and begins negotiations to recover the identified work of art. If required Mondex will commence formal mediation, on behalf of its clients, with the possessor.
In many instances a collection of art may have been looted from one country, transported to a second country and wind up in the hands of private individuals or organizations in several other countries. In such situations the laws and circumstances of each of the countries may become relevant and the legal complexities and challenges that arise as a result need to be properly managed. Over the years Mondex has assembled an excellent team of lawyers in several countries who cooperate to help Mondex’s clients recover their works of art. Such a team approach is required in order for the lawful beneficiaries to have the best chances of success with the recovery of their looted artworks.
Once a work of art has been recovered then Mondex arranges for the sale of such art through the most established auction houses or through specialist dealers who can discretely sell fine works of art and often at more attractive prices than expected.
Transportation and Insurance
Mondex also arranges for the transportation and insurance of the art that it recovers when such works of art are shipped from the possessor to the auction houses or dealers with whom Mondex cooperates.
Multiple Case Approach
Because Mondex conducts research on several cases simultaneously, its multi-lingual, international team of researchers are often on the lookout for archival documents that can easily be related to other cases. Finding such documents or clues in such cases can often lead to the successful conclusion in what might otherwise appear to be an unrelated case. In cases where documents have been misfiled, it can be as though they never existed. But if Mondex is aware of the case for which the documents appear to be missing, we can identify what they are and why they are significant. Sometimes seemingly minor documents or facts can be seen to be significant in the context of additional information.
SAM BERNHARD LEVIE
Mondex Corporation aids in return of two paintings claimed to belong to Sam Bernhard Levie.