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Theft

Thursday, June 6th - Sunday, October 27th | Museum Judenplatz, Judenplatz 8, A-1010 Vienna

Double Exhibition Jewish Museum Vienna and Wien Museum

The systematic disenfranchisement, persecution, and, ultimately, murder of Vienna’s Jewish population, as well as those considered as “Jews” according to the Nuremberg Laws, took place under National Socialist rule and was accompanied by unprecedented theft: Thousands of Viennese apartments and houses were plundered by various organizations, but also by private persons. The stolen furniture, artworks, and objects were seized, sold, or added to museum collections.

In a double exhibition with the Wien Museum, Theft traces this process of pillage, incorporation, and, finally, restitution. The exhibition begins at the Jewish Museum Vienna, which symbolizes the robbed places and people whose stories are told here. The focus is on the stolen objects, which are packaged and transported away in a film installation. At the Wien Museum, which becomes the place of incorporation, they are unpacked and absorbed into the city collections. Only a fraction of these objects were able to be restituted decades later. Through the exhibition’s abstract, yet eye-catching concept, theft and incorporation can be experienced sensually.

The exhibition, which sees itself as an artistic installation and temporary monument at the same time, arose to mark twenty-five years of provenance research at the Wien Museum.

Curators: Hannes Sulzenbacher (Jewish Museum Vienna), Gerhard Milchram (Wien Museum)
Exhibition design: Fuhrer, Vienna