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The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim in New York, the Getty in Los Angeles and Chicago’s Institute of Art are just four of the major institutions that made details of their collections available to the site which has been set up by the American Association of Museums.

So far they have catalogued more than 6000 artefacts that changed hands in Continental Europe during the Nazi era.

Somewhere between five and ten per cent of the estimated 1.5 million pieces of art stolen by the Nazis are still missing.

The site, which offers both quick and advanced searches, will have international links to other similar databases.The site can be found at: www.nepip.org