Germany Plans to Ease Laws to Return Nazi-Looted Art

  • February 16, 2014 16:54

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The Salzburg, Austria, home of Cornelius Gurlitt, where a trove of hidden artwork was revealed, including works by Renoir, Monet, Manet and Picasso.

German lawmakers announced on Friday that they are considering measures to make the restitution of art stolen during World War II easier for claimants. Under the current civil code, a claim can not be made on artworks stolen over 30 years ago.

Winfried Bausback, justice minister in Bavaria, has presented a bill in German Parliament that would lift the 30-year limitation.

Germany's culture minister, Monika Grütters, has also proposed an independent committee to review provenance of artworks in German museum collections and to aid restitution efforts.

Spurring interest in the issue is the international spotlight placed on stolen art with the recent film "The Monuments Men" and the discovery last week of a second trove of hidden artworks in the Salzburg home of Cornelius Gurlitt, whose cache of 1,400 artworks in Munich was revealed last year.

Gurlitt's father had worked for the Nazis, collecting "degenerate art" during the war, and many of the works found in his son's apartment are under scrutiny as possible Nazi loot.

Tags: european art

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