Sullivan & Worcester (JD Supra Germany)
Gurlitt Bequest to Kunstmuseum Bern is Upheld
Cousin Had Challenged His Capacity to Make a Will Shortly Before 2014 Death - After a two-year legal battle, the Oberlandesgericht in Munich has upheld the dismissal of Uta Werner’s challenge to the will made by Cornelius Gurlitt in 2014 that designated the Kunstmuseum Bern as his heir, including the bequest of his controversial painting collection. Less than six months...
Changes to Limbach Commission Announced, Real Change Now Seems Out of Reach
Three New Members Are Added but German Museums Can Still Decline to Participate - After nearly a year of hinting at changes the Advisory Commission in Germany that makes recommendations to state museums on claims for allegedly Nazi-looted works in their collections (“Beratende Kommission im Zusammenhang mit der Rückgabe NS-verfolgungsbedingt entzogener Kulturgüter,...
Restitution Claims Resolved in New York and Cologne, New Case Filed Against Germany
Word came this week of two resolutions of claims to Nazi-looted art in museums in New York and Cologne, and a new Nazi-looted claim against Germany filed in Washington. Barely a month after the Neue Galerie (of Austrian and German art) in New York announced that it had discovered a “major work” in its collection had a clouded history, the museum announced an agreement concerning the Karl Schmitt-
More of the Same—Latest Limbach Commission “Reform” is Anything But
Supposed Changes to German Advisory Commission on Nazi Looted Art Short on Specifics - There have been a number of articles this week indicating that Germany intends to reform the “Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property” (Beratende Kommission im Zusammenhang mit der Rückgabe NS-verfolgungsbeding
Opportunity Lost: Germany Enacts Revised Cultural Property Export Restrictions
Immediately Squanders Market Opportunities Created by Brexit - On a historic day in the European Union, Germany quietly enacted the revised Cultural Property Protection Law (Kulturgutschutzgesetz) that has sparked much controversy in recent months.
Guelph Treasure Heirs Explain Why Case Belongs in U.S. Court
We filed yesterday the opposition to the motion to dismiss my clients’ claims over the 1935 forced sale of the Guelph Treasure, or Welfenschatz. The motion was filed two months ago by defendants Germany and the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz.
Potemkin Village Deferred—Planned Exhibition of Gurlitt Trove is Postponed
Germany has apparently decided to postpone its ill-conceived plans to exhibit the hundreds of works of art that it still holds from the trove seized from the late Cornelius Gurlitt. This decision was announced as a date was set to hear the latest stage of the challenge brought by Gurlitt’s cousin Uta Werner to the will that Gurlitt wrote in the last weeks of his life, leaving the entire...
Germany Keeps Digging—Explanation for Excluding Jewish Member from Nazi-looted Art Advisory Commission is Worse than Before
Last week Germany’s Minister of Culture Monika Grütters made the astonishing statement that the Advisory Commission that issues recommendations for questions of allegedly Nazi-looted art in German museums would not be revised to include a member of the Jewish community because that Jewish member “would be the only voice who would be prejudiced.” The statement was not idle gossip, it was to the...
Live from the Oscars! German Cultural Ministry Disparages Possible Inclusion of Jewish Member on Advisory Commission
The New York Times reports today that Germany will pay for “at least” one more year of the Gurlitt Task Force, which recently concluded its initial term of appointment amidst criticism of the German government’s handling of the case. Taken as a whole, it is clear that real progress is not the goal, public relations is.
Time to Go—Flechtheim Heirs Withdraw from Limbach Commission That Has Outlived its Usefulness
Two days after suspending their participation in the Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property, often called the "Limbach Commission" after its presiding member Jutta Limbach (the Beratende Kommission im Zusammenhang mit der Rückgabe NS-verfolgungsbedingt entzogenen Kulturguts, insbesondere aus jüdischem...
Flechtheim Heirs Suspend Limbach Commission Proceedings Over Juan Gris Painting in Düsseldorf
In a move that is symbolic of the tattered legitimacy of the German Advisory Commission concerning Nazi-looted art in state museums, the heirs of famed and persecuted Jewish art dealer Alfred Flechtheim today suspended the state-run non-binding mediation process concerning Violon en encrier (1913) by Juan Gris in the Stiftung Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen (Art Collections Foundation of...
“Final Report” of Gurlitt Task Force Presented to German Government—Process Continues to Raise More Questions Than Answers
The chair of the Schwabinger Kunstfund (Gurlitt) Task Force (Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel) presented yesterday a report on behalf of the Task Force to German Minister of Culture Monika Grütters. The larger context of the government’s failure to support the expert panel in the stranger-than-fiction story of Cornelius Gurlitt, however, and the complete lack of a commitment from the national government