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12 The Gurlitt Case: German and International Responses to Ownership Rights in Looting Cases

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Chapter Summary

This chapter primarily concerns with the Gurlitt case, and what the "ultimate fate" is likely to be for the works of art that have been discovered. But that it is essential to first understand the broader historical and associated context in which this discovery took place before turning now to consider the international actions and principles which have been established to guide the repatriation process for identified Nazi-era art. The chapter examines in much greater length the German response and legal provisions applying to this case. It considers the criminal law situation in the case. The reason Cornelius Gurlitt had come to the attention of German police was a journey he undertook to Switzerland where he had sold one of his paintings and deposited the money into Swiss bank account. The chapter concludes that the representatives of the German state could make mistakes in a significant and widely publicized case.

Keywords: criminal law situation; German response; Gurlitt case; Nazi-era art; works of art



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