In December 2013, as a reaction to the Gurlitt art find, the newly appointed Bavarian Minister of Justice announced that Bavaria would propose a change of the German Civil Code to address the application of the statute of limitation to looted art. And he delivered: The proposal was approved by the Bavarian State Government today. Bavaria’s initiative to amend the Civil Code – which is federal, not state law – will now be dealt with in the Upper Chamber (Bundesrat) of the German parliament. It is expected to be on the Bundesrat’s agenda on February 14, 2014. If it passes this hurdle, the proposal will be dealt with, and ideally approved by, the Lower Chamber (Bundestag). Here is a link to the proposed legislation – the Kulturgut-Rückgewähr-Gesetz, or Art Restitution Act. Watch this space for a more detailed post commenting on the proposal.
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