Skip to Content

The Jerusalem Post: US Senate Passes Bill to Help Recover Nazi-Looted Art

By: Carmine Sabia

A bill to facilitate the return of Nazi-looted artworks to their original owners or heirs passed the US Senate.

The Senate unanimously passed the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act, or HEAR Act, on Friday. The House passed the same bill on Dec. 7. It must still be signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The bill would extend the statute of limitations for the stolen artwork to six years from the date that the art in question is identified and located, and from when the claimant has shown evidence of possession of the art.

In some previous cases, defendants were able to avoid restitution because states had statutes of limitations as short as three years.

The HEAR Act was introduced in the Senate in April by Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, both Texas Republicans, along with Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

“Today, we delivered a long-overdue victory for the families of Holocaust victims,” Cruz said in a statement. “This bipartisan legislation rights a terrible injustice and sends a clear signal that America will continue to root out every noxious vestige of the Nazi regime. I’m proud to have worked closely with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to empower the victims of the horrific atrocities that took place over 70 years ago and will continue to fight to bring peace and justice to these families.”

“Artwork lost during the Holocaust is not just property – to many victims and their families it is a reminder of the vanished world of their families,” Cornyn said.

“Thanks to the Senate’s approval of the HEAR Act, victims of the Holocaust and their families will finally have their day in court to claim what is rightfully theirs,” said Ronald Lauder, chairman of the Commission for Art Recovery and president of the World Jewish Restitution Organization. “This important legislation will allow those seeking to recover art and other heritage stolen by the Nazis a fair opportunity to have their cases judged on the facts, rather than be undercut by legal technicalities.

In June, testimony was held before the Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittees on the importance of the act. Among those testifying was British actress Helen Mirren, who said that “restoring physical parts of lost heritage to Holocaust victims and their families is a moral imperative.”

Mirren said she became steeped in the issue while playing Maria Altmann in the 2015 film Woman in Gold. Altmann battled the Austrian government for years until 2004, when she recovered works stolen from her family by the Nazis.

During World War II, the Nazis stole valuable belongings, including art, from Jewish families. Much of the looted property was not returned after the war, and heirs of the families have faced lengthy legal battles to recover their family belongings.

Read the full article here: //www.jpost.com/Diaspora/US-Senate-passes-bill-to-help-recover-Nazi-looted-art-475047?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

 

Offices

Central TX

(512) 916-5834
300 E 8th
Suite 961
Austin, TX 78701
Email

 

North TX

(214) 599-8749
Lee Park Tower II
3626 N. Hall St.
Suite 410
Dallas, TX 75219
Email

Southeast TX

(713) 718-3057
The Mickey Leland Federal Building
1919 Smith Street
Suite 9047
Houston, TX 77002

Email

South/Cen. TX

(210) 340-2885
9901 IH-10W
Suite 950
San Antonio, TX 78230
Email

East TX

(903) 593-5130
305 S. Broadway
Suite 501
Tyler, TX 75702
Email

South TX

(956) 686-7339
200 S. 10th St
Suite 1603
McAllen, TX 78501
Email

West TX

Email

Washington, D.C.

(202) 224-5922
404 Russell
Washington, DC 20510
Contact

Generated in 0.056 seconds.