Alternatives to Litigation in Nazi-looted Art Disputes: Status Quo and New Developments
Published by Eleven Publishing
The title of this book, Fair and Just Solutions?, refers to the norm for the assessment of ownership claims to Nazi-looted art as codified in the so-called Washington Principles in 1998:
If the pre-War owners of art that is found to have been confiscated by the Nazis and not subsequently restituted, or their heirs, can be identified, steps should be taken expeditiously to achieve a just and fair solution, recognizing this may vary according to the facts and circumstances surrounding a specific case.
The question mark in the title is a reference to the lack of clarity surrounding this norm.
Sixteen years after its adoption questions remain about the scope. In what sense Nazi-looted art claims differ from other claims regarding spoliated art, and what is the position of someone who acquired the work in its more recent history? Moreover, what neutral procedures are available to parties seeking answers to these questions, taking into account that the Washington Principles describe alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms as an instrument for resolving ownership issues? Although a formal legalistic approach may not be an adequate response, this does not mean legal guidelines are not needed.
This book aims to give an overview of the current status quo in the field, both in countries where special committees have been installed and beyond. Through contributions from leading experts and a discussion amongst stakeholders it explores a way to move forward, and makes a case for international cooperation and neutral and transparent procedures for solving ownership issues.