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Are “Flight Goods” Different than Looted Art? Questions About Fair Value and Duress in Wartime Resonate After Recent Limbach Commission Decision

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 3, 2014 at 8:32 AM

A conference was held last week at the Oskar Reinhart Museum in Winterthur, Switzerland, entitled “Fluchtgut: Geschichte, Recht und Moral” (Flight Goods: History, Law and Morality). The objective conference was described in its program as follows (my translation):

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Topics: Expressionist, Esther Tisa Francini, Allied Collecting Points, Südkurier, Auctions, Florian Weiland, Oskar Reinhart Museum, Dresden, Karl Schmidt-Rotluff, Nazi-looted art, Robert Graetz, Buchholz Gallery, German Advisory Commission for the Return of Cultu, Winterthur, Entartete Kunst, Beratende Kommission, Curt Valentin, Restitution, Melissa Müller, Luzern, Clara Levy, Farm in Dangast, Fluchtgut: Geschichte Recht und Moral, Lucas Elmenhorst, Luxembourg, Looted Art, World War II, Lucerne, Switzerland, degenerate art, Handelsblatt, Lost Lives Lost Art Jewish Collectors Nazi Art The, Galerie Fischer, Imke Gielen, Washingtoner Prinzipien, Jutta Limbach, Washington Principles, Drei Grazien, Flight Goods: History Law and Morality, Lovis Corinth, Monika Tatzkow, Three Graces, Bavarian State Painting Collections, Raubkunst, Hans Posse, Limbach Commission, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen

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, Catherine Hickley, Karl Schmidt-Rotluff, Robert Graetz, Restitution, Farm in Dangast, World War II, degenerate art, Jutta Limbach, Washington Principles

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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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