In 1998, the so-called Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art were passed. With the Declaration of the Federal Government, the Laender and the leading municipal organisations on locating and returning art confiscated as a result of Nazi persecution made in 1999, publicly owned museums declared they intended to examine their acquisitions policy in the years 1933−1945 and through to the present day. Museum Folkwang is actively researching its own history and the holdings in its collections.
Holdings from colonial contexts are also being examined as many of the works in the collection come from Africa, Asia, South America, and the Arab world. These objects present us with new, complex challenges that can have a bearing on issues in society today.
The results of our research are regularly presented as part of public events and in scholarly publications.