Dealing with objects and collections inevitably touches on complex and sensitive issues of individual or private, but also institutional, collective or national identity. Information about the provenance of an object is therefore often limited to institutional or national boundaries. Among the many commendable initiatives, the German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP; 2017–2019) stands out as a transdisciplinary and, above all, transnational effort to overcome the aforementioned boundaries. As one of the six PREP partners, the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (ZI) in Munich is proud to have been instrumental in the application and subsequent implementation of the program. In October 2018, the ZI hosted the second PREP meeting and the public colloquium on Nazi-era translocations and dispossessions of ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern artifacts proposed by Irene Bald Romano, on which this special issue is based.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.