The Commission for Provenance Research was established in 1998. It investigates Austrian federal museums and collections to identify objects that were acquired by the state after having been confiscated by the Nazis.

The Commission’s responsibilities are described in Section 4a of the Art Restitution Act. Provenance researchers systematically investigate all acquisitions by federal collections from 1933 to the present. Indications by victims or their families are naturally followed up, but they are not a precondition for the investigations.

In accordance with Section 3 of the Art Restitution Act, the results of the research are submitted to the Art Restitution Advisory Board within the Federal Chancellery. The Advisory Board passes on its recommendations to the federal minister responsible.

The National Council is informed of the Commission’s activities in an annual Restitution Report.