Law and Art – Restitution Claims and Restitution in the Absence of Claims

“Law and Art” was the overall theme for this year’s Anwaltstag, held in München last week. One of the sessions was devoted to “Restitution in the Absence of Claims – Finding Fair Solutions Beyond the Law” (Restitution ohne Anspruch – gerechte Lösungen jenseits des Rechts). Here’s a link to a short video summarizing the discussion. While solutions beyond the law may be difficult to find, the prospects for law-based restitution claims appear to have improved recently, both legally and factually.

Regarding the legal position, I have reported the judgment of the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) earlier this year, ruling in favour of Nazi victims on time-bar issues.

And now, a new tools assisting fact-finding and tracing lost works of art has been made available: Deutsches Historisches Museum this week announced the publication of a data base of Hermann Göring‘s collection – “collected” often by disappropriation and other illegal means. Regina Mönch’s article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung sets out the back-ground of the Göring collection.

The data base comprises 4,263 objects and complements the existing data bases on “Sonderauftrag Linz” and on Central Collecting Point Munich.


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