24 December 2010

Prelude to founding of HARP—Spring 1997

Truth be told, the founders-to-be of the Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP), Willi Korte and Marc Masurovsky, had approached the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in the spring of 1997 with a proposal by which the Washington-based Holocaust Museum would house all historical information pertaining to cultural losses suffered by Jews across Axis-controlled Europe.

The proposal met with a terse rebuttal from the Holocaust Museum's chief of staff, making it very clear that this project did "not fall within the mandate of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum."

Dejected and confused, Korte and Masurovsky then went to the only explicitly Jewish museum in the District of Columbia, the Klutznick National Jewish Museum of B'nai B'rith, whose then director was Ori Z. Soltes.  And the rest is history...