Update: “Restitution at Any Price” – A Critique of the Hans Sachs Judgment

Last week, I posted on a rather fundamental critique of the Federal Supreme Court in the Hans Sachs Restitution matter published in Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ). The article has now been made available in their free online offering. The illustration to the article is not one of the posters from the Hans Sachs Collection, but a work of Greser & Lenz, the FAZ cartoonists from Aschaffenburg, my home town.

 

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“Restitution at Any Price” – A Critique of the Hans Sachs Judgment

In March 2012, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) found in favour of the heir of Jewish art collector Hans Sachs in a restitution case. In my view it created a new precedent for restitution claims for a large class of lost art. The authors of an op-ed piece in today’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung agree, and heavily criticize the judgment of the Federal Supreme Court precisely for that reason – they call it “a wrongly decided and dangerous judgment”.

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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. Continue reading

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