Holocaust Art Restitution

Prior to and during World War II, the world’s largest mass art looting operation took place, perpetrated and facilitated by Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and their collaborators.  Art was not only taken outright through wholesale looting, but also through illegal forced transactions disguised with the appearance of legitimacy.  For years, descendants of the victims of this international crime have been unable to reclaim what is rightfully theirs, due in large part to a combination of restrictive statutes of limitations, inequitable restitution policies in Europe, and the unavailability of crucial information.  Restitution procedures in countries like the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Italy, and Spain can be problematic and rely on internal policy considerations without basis in international law.

Thankfully, restitution claimants may be able to seek justice in United States courts, even after foreign restitution procedures have failed them.  Laws like the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act (HEAR Act) of 2016 help facilitate such actions by extending and relaxing the applicable statutes of limitations.  U.S. courts are also not bound by the often arbitrary policies that many European restitution committees rely upon.

If you or your ancestors were wrongfully deprived of artworks by Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, or their collaborators, please contact us using the below form for a free consultation.

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