skip to content

Cambridge Public Policy SRI


Professor Sir Richard Evans’s work as a historian of Nazi Germany and specifically its appropriation of Jewish-owned art led to his appointment to the Spoliation Advisory Panel of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which resolves claims for cultural objects lost during the Nazi era.


As the only historian on the Panel, Professor Evans has used his research to provide expert advice that has played a significant role in shaping the five reports and recommendations published by the Panel since 2008. This has resulted in the resolution of a number of disputes and played a role in the ongoing process of reconciliation following the Second World War.

The scope of the research by Professor Evans – which includes art history and the ‘Aryanization’ of Jewish property in Nazi Germany, cultural looting of countries by the Nazis, and the state of the financial market and banking sector in Germany at the time – were able to provide the Panel with essential historical context for its work. On cases such as claim for the return of an oil sketch by Sir Peter Paul Rubens and a rare Italian Missal from the Benevento Chapter removed illegally at the end of the Second World War, Professor Evan’s research and documentary investigations assisted the panel in coming to decisions on advising on the return of the objects.

The cases prompted the panel to recommend legislation and this led to the Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act 2009, which was passed as a Private Member’s Bill.

Latest news


12 March 2019

The Bennett Institute is recruiting for Visiting Fellow from within the University for the academic year 2019/20.

Post-Brexit Options for the UK: New Legal Analysis

22 November 2018

On 16 November 2018 the Cambridge Public Policy SRI (Strategic Research Initiative) and the CBR, the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge, held a conference at Peterhouse College in Cambridge on Brexit with the aim of encouraging interdisciplinary discussion amongst academics and further research on the implications of the UK leaving the EU for public policy.

Britain’s Broken Economic Model and Why Brexit isn’t the Cure

11 November 2018

Simon Deakin, Director of the Centre for Business Research and Professor of Law at the University of Cambridge, tells the Cambridge Public Policy SRI (Strategic Research Initiative) why Brexit isn’t the cure for Britain’s broken economic model.