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
Yesterday, the US Supreme Court issued its decision in Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp (S. Ct. 2021) and today, we have Ted Folkman of Letters Blogatory reviewing it:
This is the case of the Welfenschatz, the Guelph treasure said to have been stolen by the Nazis from its Jewish owners. The claim was that Hermann Göring, one of Hitler’s most powerful ministers, had coerced the Jewish owners of the treasure to sell it for a fraction of its value to the Prussian government in the early 1930s. Continue reading
Yesterday, the Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, also known as the Limbach Commission, has issued a new recommendation in the restitution matter of the heirs of Max Fischer vs. Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, a museum of the State of Baden-Württemberg. In January 2021, the Advisory Commission had gone public with the first case in its history where a recommendation had not been implemented.
The Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof) of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg had to deal with an application of the Nama Traditional Leaders Association regarding the return of historic items that once belonged to Hendrik Wittboi. Witbooi (c. 1830 – 1905) was a chief of the Nama or ǀKhowesin people in present-day Namibia – German South West Africa (Deutsch Südwestafrika) at the time. He is regarded as one of the national heroes of Namibia, having lead the 1904 fight against German colonial rule.