Catalogue description Minutes of Meetings Book signed by the Chairman, including terms of reference and names...

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Details of T 209/2
Reference: T 209/2

Minutes of Meetings Book signed by the Chairman, including terms of reference and names of members of committee.

One bound book containing the minutes of meetings held by the British Committee on the Preservation and Restitution of Works of Art, Archives and Other Material in Enemy Hands - appointed by the Prime Minister in May 1944 - at the House of Lords between May 1944 and April 1946. Includes the Committee's terms of reference: '1) to be at the service of H M G in connection with the post-war restitution of monuments, works of art, and archives misappropriated by enemy governments or individuals in the course of the war; 2) to cooperate with the Commission already appointed by the President of the US for similar purposes and with any like bodies which may be set up in other Allied countries; 3) to avail themselves of the special information possessed by other bodies, such as the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education; 4) to investigate and consider the technical problems [other than legal] of restitution and to advise HMG regarding the policy to be adopted in the matters of restitution and, if requested to do so, of reparation in kind; 5) to make such enquiries, adopt such methods, and promote such collaboration as seems best calculated to secure the general purposes to be served by the Committee'. Also provides the names of the Committee's members, including Lord Macmillan as Chairman, Sir John Clapham, Sir Kenneth Clark, Sir John Forsdyke, Sir Frederic Kenyon, Sir Eric Maclagan, Mr J G Mann, Mr Vincent Massey, Mr R C Norman, Professor G M Trevelyan and the Duke of Wellington.

In September 1944 the Prime Minister accepted the committee's proposal to 'enlarge its advisory functions to cover questions of preservation during the period of hostilities on the understanding that the Committee's work does not interfere with military affairs and duplicate the work of salvage and preservation already being performed by the appropriate departments of SHAEF and the War Office.' The Committee was eventually discontinued on 31 August 1946.

Documents the sessions of the Macmillan Committee from its first meeting on 16 May 1944 to its 11th meeting on 8 April 1946. Records the Committee's establishment and its relations with other related bodies such as the Roberts and Vaucher Commissions as well as with Sir Leonard Woolley, Archaeological Adviser at the Directorate for Civil Affairs of the War Office, the issue of Allied bombing of monuments and buildings, the problem of post-war restitution and reparation and the necessity to gather accurate information and records of looted or missing cultural material and its location. Provides detailed information on the Committee's advisory work on the conservation of monuments and works of art and its role in drafting and commenting on memoranda, correspondence and booklets on the destruction and preservation of Europe's artistic heritage during the final stages of the Second World War, and in the identification and restitution of looted cultural property in the immediate aftermath of the war.

Note: This document forms part of the Looted Art Collection; records selection and descriptions reproduced by the kind permission of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe.
Date: 1944 - 1946
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
Restrictions on use: Open in 1972

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