Art Law: Proposed “Lex Gurlitt” May Harm Owners of Lost Art

Yesterday, we had a closer look at the Bavarian initiative in the Gurlitt case designed to address the statute of limitation issue. Today’s guest post by Professor Lorenz Kähler, University of Bremen, reviews this legislative proposal. His assessment is rather sobering: The new provision of the Civil Code (BGB), if adopted, may not help heirs pursuing restitution claims, or even be more burdensome than the current law. But read for yourself: Continue reading

Art Law: A Closer Look at the Proposed Art Restitution Act

The Bavarian State Government ealier this month presented the proposed Art Restitution Act (Kulturgut-Rückgewähr-Gesetz, KRG). Here is a closer look at how it is supposed to work, and what it is likely to achieve. Continue reading

Update: Art Law: Litigation is Coming Closer in Gurlitt Case

At the end of November 2013, we had a guest post from Professor Matthias Weller, in which he shared his views on the Gurlitt matter as a follow-up to the the panel discussion at the VII. Heidelberg Art Law Conference. Matthias Weller has explored the topic in more detail in an article just published in the most recent issue of Kunst und Recht: Art Law on the Text Bench: The “Schwabing Art Find” at the Interface of Criminal Prosecution and Property Law (Kunstrecht auf dem Prüfstand: Der “Schwabinger Kunstfund” an der Schnittstelle von Strafverfolgung und Sachenrecht), KUR 2013, 183.

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Art Law: Proposed Legislation for the Reform of Limitation Rules

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.