At Mondex, we advocate successfully for our clients when we achieve a restitution agreement. In some cases, restitution occurs once we communicate with the possessor of a misappropriated artifact, a possessor who may be unaware that the artifact was stolen. Alternatively, we identify fair and practical solutions through negotiation, mediation and arbitration, or the filing of a legal claim; the latter being a last resort. These approaches require meticulous research, which is conducted by our research and legal team. And, since each strategy we develop is bespoke, each requires us to be scientific in our analysis of the challenges we face, and creative in our means of overcoming them. In so doing, we have also developed relationships over the years with professors of law who have particular expertise in important, related fields, as well as with professors and notable scholars of Jewish studies, finance, political science and government relations.

To help address any questions or challenges of a legal nature, our in-house legal counsels conduct legal research and to enhance the chances of a successful restitution claim, they work closely with our international legal counsels to develop the best international legal strategy available. Throughout, they also collaborate with our historians and provenance researchers to obtain and organize various exhibits required to prove our clients’ entitlement to despoiled art and other property. 

By working closely together, our research and legal teams bring extensive experience in their respective fields, as well as in fine art, and deliver unparalleled service and value to our clients.

Filing a legal claim is a last resort, but it can be a necessary step in a successful restitution. Most thefts or forced sales involved victims, perpetrators possessors and events, which took place in different countries, and at different periods, all of which add to the complexity of our work. 

With every increase in the complexity of legal challenges comes a corresponding increase in opportunity—our ability to identify opportunities at Mondex is critical to our success.

Mondex engages in mediation and negotiation involving artworks it has located only after preparing in advance the evidence necessary to make a compelling and successful claim. In these cases, we contact the possessor and begin negotiations to recover the identified work of art. If appropriate, and working on behalf of our clients, we then begin a process of formal mediation with the possessor.

In many instances, an art collection was looted from one country and then transported to a second country, all before winding up in the hands of private individuals or organizations in numerous other countries. The laws and circumstances of each of these countries may therefore be relevant. Should litigation occur, each set of laws and circumstances presents a challenge that needs to be managed. With its global reach and collaborative mandate, the legal team at Mondex has distinguished itself as uniquely able to overcome these challenges, obtaining justice for families, as well as closure.

Additional Services

When necessary Mondex provides international genealogical and probate research to help prove the entitlement of our clients.  Vital statistic documents, probated Wills and other official documents are acquired, translated, certified and vised by embassies when necessary.

Mondex's typical restitution claims involve facts which took place in several different countries and over many decades.  This requires an excellent understanding of the fundamental legal principles and opportunities available when developing an international legal strategy to facilitate a restitution claim.

Mondex is often able to help its clients with the recovery of other assets, which may be unknown to our clients.  This benefit provides our clients with significant, additional value.

Once a work of art has been located Mondex contacts the possessor and begins negotiations to recover the identified work of art.  If a mutually agreeable settlement is reached, then the claim is considered resolved.  When appropriate Mondex is also agreeable to resolve such matters by way of mediation and if necessary, by filing a legal claim, as a last resort, to protect the rights of its clients.

In many instances a collection of artworks 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.

Families who are fortunate enough to enjoy a successful restitution often face the practical challenge of what to do next.  Most families do not have the resources to properly store and display a recovered artwork and sharing the artwork among several family members poses other logistical challenges.  This usually leads to the family donating the artwork to a museum or to the sale of the artwork.  This important process must be very carefully managed to protect the value of the property.  Over the decades Mondex has developed significant expertise to help its clients navigate the optimal path, whether with the help of the most established auction houses or through specialist dealers who work closely with Mondex to maximize the value of the artwork.

Mondex also arranges for the transportation and insurance of the artworks that it recovers when such works of art are shipped from the possessor to the auction houses or dealers with whom Mondex cooperates.

Because Mondex conducts research on several cases simultaneously, its multi-lingual, international team of researchers is 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.

Mondex Community Support

Mondex is committed to supporting our communities around the world through service and charitable contributions. We also help educate the public on matters relating to the Holocaust and specifically the restituting of stolen art.