The “Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property”, better known as Limbach Commission after its first chair women, Jutta Limbach, was formed in 2003. We have covered various aspects of the Limbach Commission’s work, for example here and here. Jutta Limbach, the former president of the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) passed away in September 2016. Her successor as the chairman of the advisory commission is Hans-Jürgen Papier, also a former judge at the Federal Constitutional Court, and Jutta Limbach’s successor as the president of the court upon her retirement from judicial office in 2002.
Hans-Jürgen Papier will speak at the inaugural event of the Bonn Round Table on Art & Cultural Heritage Law (Bonner Gesprächskreis Kunst- und Kulturgutschutzrecht) on 4 July 2018 (see here for details). Matthias Weller (see here for his guest post on the Gurlitt case) has initiated the round table. He has been appointed, effective this summer term, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Professor for Art & Cultural Heritage Law at Bonn University. This chair was created as part of Bonn University’s initiative that saw the creation of two professorships dedicated to provenance research – a first at a German University, which we covered here earlier. I hope to be able to attend, and report on, the event.
When the news about the Munich art find in Cornelius Gurlitt’s apartment broke, a legal issue that so far had been of interest only to a small community of lawyers or legal scholars gained prominence: the application of the statute of limitation to restitution claims for looted art. As the law stood, restitution claims against Gurlitt would, in all likelihood, have become time-barred. When the Gurlitt case made headlines worldwide, all of a sudden, politicians paid attention to that rather esoteric question. The newly appointed Bavarian Minister of Justice even initiated legislation to deal with the issue. But the topic disappeared from the political stage as quickly as it had made its appearance when it became clear that Cornelius Gurlitt was not going to invoke the limitation defence. The Bavarian law-making initiative fell into oblivion. Continue reading →
Dear readers, thank you for your interest in this blog during the last year! Let me start 2017 by wishing all of you a happy New Year, both professionally and privately. Also, I would like to take the opportunity to look back at 2016. Continue reading →
In November 2013, the Munich Art Find made headlines world wide, when a newsmagazine broke the story about the seizure of an art collection in the apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, a privileged art dealer in the Nazi period. With the help of some guest authors, we have covered the story and some of its legal implications quite extensively on this blog.* Things have been quiet recently, but today, the Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht) Munich announced its decision in the dispute about Cornelius Gurlitt’s last will, under which the Gurlitt art collection was bequeathed upon the Berne Museum of Fine Arts (Kunstmuseum Bern). Continue reading →