Victory on appeal for Guelph Treasure heirs Blog Art Law & More
Art Law

Victory on appeal for Guelph Treasure heirs Blog Art Law & More

A US Court of Appeal has upheld the right of the heirs of victims of Nazi looting to seek the restitution of treasured artefacts worth US$250-300 million (£200-240 million). Known as the Guelph Treasure, or ‘Welfenschatz’ the artefacts include several pieces of 11th-15th century jewelled and gilded reliquary art. In March 2017, the US District Court for the District of Columbia held Germany could not claim immunity from suit over the return of the treasure under the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The Act prohibits lawsuits from being filed against other countries except where the government takes property in violation of international law. Now the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld the right of the heirs to the Guelph Treasure to sue for the return of the trove. The claimants descend from a consortium of Jewish art dealers who were allegedly forced to transfer their precious collection to Nazi deputy Hermann Göring for a fraction of its value in 1935. Though they filed their original claim against both the Federal Republic of Germany and the state-run Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, or SPK), Germany was dismissed as a defendant. It is now […]

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