Freshfields lends support to provenance research

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has been lending its support to a research team led by Swiss historian and President of the German Historical Museum, Prof Dr Raphael Gross, in reviewing and verifying the previous provenance research conducted by the E.G. Bührle Collection Foundation.

Since October 2021, around 200 selected works from the private collection of Swiss industrialist Emil Georg Bührle have been on permanent loan to the Kunsthaus Zürich gallery, including paintings by Cézanne, Gauguin, Renoir, Picasso, and van Gogh. The City and Canton of Zurich and Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft (Zurich Society of Fine Arts: the body that operates the Kunsthaus Zürich gallery and owns its works) commissioned Prof Dr Raphael Gross to further investigate the provenance of the works.

Freshfields’ team

The Freshfields team comprised Frankfurt-based Dispute Resolution lawyers partner Dr Moritz Pellmann (pictured), Dr Bettina Schmaltz and Tobias André (both Counsel), Dr Katharina Niemz (Principal Associate), and Björn Weissenberger (Associate), along with Berlin-based Dispute Resolution lawyer Anna Köhler (Associate).

About the report

The report, presented by by Raphael Gross on 28 June 2024, finds that a considerable number of the artworks in the Emil Bührle Collection originate from previous Jewish owners. In the course of prior research conducted by the E.G. Bührle Collection Foundation, the previous Jewish ownership either did not show up or did not feature in the published findings. As a result, the research team recommends in its report that further provenance research should be carried out that focuses on investigating the previous Jewish ownership