Proposed “Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act” Will Change Rules of Restitution

In September, a bill was placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar, the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016. The act concerns cultural property unlawfully lost due to persecution during Nazi era, between 1933 and 1945. This will apply to claims pending on or filed after enactment, but before 2027.

The law will change how statute of limitation periods govern these cases. Plaintiffs alleging their art was unlawfully lost will have six years after discovery, and this allowance will preempt any other statutes of limitations relating to the matter.

The act aims to: “ensure that claims to artwork and other property stolen or misappropriated by the Nazis are not unfairly barred by statutes of limitations but are resolved in a just and fair manner.”