Munich Central Collecting Point

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Gallery I of the Central Collecting Point, formerly a Nazi administration building and today the Central Institute for Art History

The Munich Central Collecting Point was a depot used by the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program after the end of the Second World War to process, photograph and redistribute artwork and cultural artefacts that had been confiscated by the Nazis and hidden throughout Germany and Austria.[1] Other Central Collecting Points were located at Marburg, Wiesbaden and Offenbach, with the overall aim of restituting the artefacts to their countries of origin.[1]

Lieutenant Craig Hugh Smyth was responsible for establishing the Munich Central Collecting Point in July 1945, converting former Nazi Party offices into a depot complete with photography studios and conservation labs. The depot's activities were directed by Herbert S. Leonard.[2]

The Munich Central Collecting Point mainly processed artwork from European museums and private collections, including Hitler's collection found at Altaussee. This included paintings, sculptures, metalwork and other objects. These restitution activities at Munich ceased in 1951.[1]

Archives of materials relating to the Munich Central Collecting Point are located in two repositories in the USA. Original inventory records and photographs of works of art are held by the National Archives and Records Administration. There is a further archive of photographs, and microfilm copies of the inventory cards, in the Photographic Archives at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.[1]

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  1. ^ a b c d "Munich Central Collecting Point Archive". National Gallery of Art. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Kurtz, Michael J. (2006). America and the Return of Nazi Contraband: The Recovery of Europe's Cultural Treasures. Cambridge University Press. p. 185. 

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