On 26 March 2021, the Advisory Commission published its recommendation regarding the restitution claim brought by the heirs of Kurt and Else Grawi against Düsseldorf. As noted earlier, the Advisory Commission appears to be on track for a new record: It started the year with two recommendations regarding Max Fischer v. Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, and Heinrich Rieger v. Stadt Köln within a couple of days, and now issued its third decision in 2021. To put this into perspective: From its inception in 2005 until 2020, the Advisory Commission had issued a total of 18 recommendations. With one exception, it never issued more than two recommendations in one year, and never more than three.
In its most recent decisions, the Advisory Commission recommends that the City of Düsseldorf returns the Franz Marc painting “Füchse” to the heirs of Kurt and Else Grawi. The recommendation was not made unanimously. It was passed by a majority, with six members voting in favour, and three against the recommendation. Continue reading
In other news, the newly elected government of North Rhine Westphalia (Nordrheinwestfalen) in Düsseldorf decided to change the name of the Justice Department (Justizministerium) to Department of Justice (Ministerium der Justiz). Reminds me of Monthy Python‘s The Judean People’s Front, not to be confused with The People’s Front of Judea. When asked in parliament, the government conceded that the name change was neither increasing efficiency nor reducing bureaucracy.
Photo by Jörg Wiegels, showing the department’s building. Built from 1866 to 1870, it originally housed the Düsseldorf District Court (Landgericht).
On February 3, 2015, the Advisory Commission on the Return of Cultural Property (Beratende Kommission im Zusammenhang mit der Rückgabe NS-verfolgungsbedingt entzogener Kulturgüter) or Limbach Commission for short, published its recommendation regarding a claim for restitution of the Behrens family. The Behrens family requested that a painting by Adolph von Menzel, “Pariser Wochentag”, which is now owned by the Düsseldorf Museum Kunstpalast, should be returned to them. The Limbach Commission finds that the sale of the painting in 1935 to the Düsseldorf municipal museum (Städtische Kunstsammlung Düsseldorf) for 33,000 Reichsmark was not a forced sale or a sale at an undervalue which resulted from Nazi persecution of the Behrens family. Continue reading
In its quest for world domination, the Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) Düsseldorf has doubled its dedicated patent litigation capacity. The court has established a second panel (Senat) that will exclusively deal with appeals in patent matters. Continue reading