Tag: Deutsches Historisches Museum

Art Law: Frankfurt Court Allows Limitation Defence in Looted Art Case

WP_Max_Pechstein_2When 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. Read More

Administrative Court Magdeburg: No Access to Files of Limbach Commission under the Freedom of Information Act

Justizzentrum_MagdeburgIn a judgment dated April 21, 2015, the Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgericht) Magdeburg held that the files of the so-called Limbach Commission or “Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property” by its full name – cannot be accessed on the basis of the German Freedom of Information Act (Informationsfreiheitsgesetz). Regular readers of this blog may recall that we reported the decision of the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) in the Hans Sachs restitution matter. The Hans Sachs restitution claims, before they were brought in court, had been dealt with by the Limbach Commission. The Limbach Commission had advised against the restitution of the Hans Sachs Collection from the German Historic Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum) to the heirs of Hans Sachs. Read More

Update on Art Law: The Gurlitt Paintings – A Treasure Trove of Looted Art

In today’s Legal Tribune Online, I have published a German language piece which adresses the limitation issues in more (technical) detail. Interestingly, one of the few cases that ever dealt with these limitation issues, not only in the context of looted art, under German law was an English High Court case: City of Gotha  and Federal Republic of Germany v. Sotheby’s and Cobert Finance S.A. of 1998. Read More

“Restitution at Any Price” – A Rebuttal

Last week, Matthias Druba, the lawyer representing Peter Sachs in the Hans Sachs restitution case, responded in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) to the critique, published in the same paper, of the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) judgment in his client’s favour. Matthias Druba’s article was originally pay-walled, but has now become available in the free online version. Read More