Art Law Report

"Gurlitt Facts" Website Posted as Part of Public Relations Offensive, Arguments Strain Credulity

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on February 18, 2014 at 5:40 AM

Cornelius Gurlitt’s legal team has posted a new website called "Gurlitt Info" in similar (but not identical) German and English versions that is so contradicted by the repeated disclosures by the German government, that it is hard to imagine its intended purpose. As a public relations move, it is a disaster. The tactic may explain why the Augsburg prosecutor rejected the possibility of a deal with Gurlitt: he knows what he is dealing with. At the same time, the draft amendment to the statute of limitations, the Cultural Property Restitution Law (or "Lex Gurlitt," as it has somewhat misleadingly become known) is now formally before the Bundesrat for consideration as to whether to introduce the draft to the full Bundestag and possible enactment as the law of Germany. Bavarian Cultural Minister Winfried Bausbeck discusses the law here in a recent interview.

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Topics: Cultural Property Restitution Law, Schwabinger Kunstfund, Bayern, Nazi stolen art, Hannes Hartung, Hildebrand Gurlitt, Gurlitt Info, Führermuseum, Germany, Gurlitt Collection, Lex Gurlitt, Red Army, Entartete Kunst, Winfried Bausbeck, Gurlitt Facts, Beutekunst, Salzburg, Bundestag, Bundesrat, Gurlitt, Restitution, Statute of Limitations, Augusburg, Bavaria, Linz, Der Spiegel, World War II, Task Force, degenerate art, Cultural Minister, Austria, Justizminister,, Soviet Union, Washington Principles, Raubkunst, Verjährung, Kulturgut-Rückwehr-Gesetz, Münchner Kunstfund

Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin Returns Schmidt-Rotluff Paintings to Graetz Heirs

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 23, 2011 at 4:54 AM

The regional government of Berlin has decided to return two paintings by German Expressionist Karl Schmidt-Rotluff to the heirs of the paintings’ one-time owner (article in German).

As reported by Catherine Hickley of Bloomberg in Berlin, the paintings, a 1920 self-portrait and a 1910 landscape entitled “Farm in Dangast” once belonged to Robert Graetz, a businessman from Berlin who was deported to Poland in 1942. After a claim by Graetz’s grandson Roberto (Graetz), a government panel headed by Jutta Limbach (a former constitutional judge) concluded that the loss was almost certainly the product of persecution and should be returned. Berlin Culture Secretary Andre Schmitz has now said that the government will follow the panel’s recommendation.

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Topics: Berlin, Roberto Graetz, Catherine Hickley, Karl Schmidt-Rotluff, Robert Graetz, Neue Nationalgalerie, Restitution, Farm in Dangast, Linz, Lane Faison, World War II, degenerate art, German Expressionism, Jutta Limbach, Washington Principles, Berlin Culture Secretary, Andre Schmitz

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About the Blog

The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities. It is authored by Nicholas M. O'Donnell, partner in our Art & Museum Law Practice.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

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