web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Germany: Greatest Double Robbery in the History of Art?

"I find it shocking they won't list everything they've found." — Lawrence Kaye, Art Lawyer, New York.
Italien, Überführung von Kunstschätzen

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

According to art experts, however, Lempertz, which was established in 1845, has a long history of trafficking in art confiscated from Jews, and it ought to have suspected the Beckmann painting was of potentially dubious provenance.

Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Cornelius, who has not been arrested, are unknown. “We currently have no contact with the suspect. But there is no urgent suspicion that would justify a warrant,” according to Reinhard Nemetz, head of the state prosecutor’s office in the Bavarian city of Augsburg.

Speaking at a hastily arranged news conference on November 5, two days after Focus magazine published its story, a tight-lipped Nemetz defended the decision to keep the discovery of the artwork secret. He said Germany’s privacy laws prevented his office from making any of the details of the investigation public.

“Our primary attention is on whether a crime has been committed,” Nemetz said, stressing the “exceedingly complex legal position” of the case. He added that going public with the case would have been “counterproductive” to the investigation and would have posed a security risk because of the value of the artwork, which is being stored at a government warehouse in Munich.

Nemetz also denied accusations that Germany was seeking to keep the artwork for itself. “We do not want to keep the pictures,” he said at a press conference. “The pictures are not going to be put up in my office.”

A full list of the artworks, however, will not be published online — despite the growing number of calls to do so — because, Nemetz said, authorities do not want to be inundated with claims: “We prefer if people with a claim to lost artwork get in touch with us to say which picture they are missing, rather than the other way around.”

But many observers outside of Germany are baffled by Nemetz’s lack of transparency. “It is a mystery to me, I have no idea what was behind it,” Israeli art expert Joel Levi said in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. “I have no explanation as to why the German investigative authorities are adopting this method of ‘Let’s wait and see what happens.’ I do not understand,” he said, “why it remained in the investigation rooms until it was revealed in the German newspaper.”

Art lawyer Lawrence Kaye told the Wall Street Journal, “I find it shocking they won’t list everything they’ve found. Families don’t always know exactly what they’re looking for until they can see an image of it.”

Another art lawyer, David Rowland of Rowland & Petroff in New York, called the German government’s decision to withhold details or images of the recovered works a “huge disservice” to the families of Holocaust survivors. “Without a list, we can’t do anything,” he said. “They should put a list on the Internet with photos.” Rowland also called the process of mailing off letters “just about the most inefficient way a person could handle this situation.” Going forward,” he said, “we hope the German authorities will be as transparent as possible.”

The call for more transparency was echoed by Anne Webber, co-chair of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, a London-based organization that helps families recover art seized by the Nazis. “As important a story as this is — why have the Bavarian authorities been sitting on them for two years?” she said. “Bavaria needs to publish a list of these works as soon as possible.”

Chris Marinello, the director and founder of London-based Art Recovery International, said Germany could accelerate restitution by making a list of the artworks available to the public.

“When you’re dealing with Nazi-looted artwork that may belong to heirs in their 80s or 90s struggling to reconnect with their heritage, a detailed list of seized items should be posted online immediately,” Marinello said. “There are so many organizations that specialize in researching Nazi-looted art claims that would have been happy to step up and assist,” he added.

The U.S. State Department is now calling on the German government to accelerate restitution of artworks to American citizens and people in other countries.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the State Department believes that prosecutors in Germany violated the Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art of 1998, international norms that govern the handling of claims to art seized or looted by the Nazis. The specific provision violated calls for a speedy publication of information regarding the discovery of stolen works.

About the Author: The writer is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, one of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

One Response to “Germany: Greatest Double Robbery in the History of Art?”

  1. In this last two years how artworks were stolen?, from the bavarian authorities.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Bibi: ‘Death From Above, Death From Below’ Will Not Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

People test Israel every day to see how serious we really are in knowing when we are right.

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Soeren Kern
One of the schools found to be indoctrinating students with radical Islam in Birmingham, England.

Inspectors: pupils in some English schools are systematically exposed to radical Islamic propaganda.

Muslim young woman wearing hijab in Paris.

In Paris, the Union of Islamic Organizations congress was turned into a platform for Muslim anti-Semitism.

Instead of integration, “parallel societies are forming that continuously distance themselves from each other.”

Adebolajo said there was an ongoing “war between Muslims and the British people” and he was a “soldier of Allah.”

” All this new law does is create a raft of civil servants being paid to move mountains of papers round all day.”

“I find it shocking they won’t list everything they’ve found.” — Lawrence Kaye, Art Lawyer, New York.

“I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.” — David Cameron, Prime Minister, Great Britain.

In a separate but related matter, the Al-Madinah School is being investigated by the government over alleged financial irregularities.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/germany-greatest-double-robbery-in-the-history-of-art/2013/11/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: