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19 February 2013: Press Release Bundesverwaltungsgericht (German Federal Administrative Court) regarding a case seeking to delete registration of looted artworks at www.lostart.de

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The plaintiff, a corporation, requested that a search request for a painting be deleted from lostart.de, maintaining that the painting was confiscated from them due to Nazi persecution. There was an independent second search request on lostart.de by the successors of a Jewish bank for the same painting who also claimed that the painting had been looted from them. The painting was located in Namibia and its current possessor and the first applicant (the corporation) agreed to auction off the painting and split the proceeds. The painting, however, was then withdrawn from the auction after the Koordinierungsstelle refused to take the painting off the lostart.de database without the consent of the second applicant (the Jewish bank).

The German court of first and second instance had decided in favour of the first applicant (the corporation). They found that the mandate of the database was fulfilled once the painting was located so that upholding the search request on the database would interfere with the rights of the first applicant (the corporation). However, on 19 February 2015 the Federal Administrative Court of Germany reversed the decisions of the courts of prior instance and dismissed the complaint of the plaintiff, judging that the plaintiff does not have a claim under public law and that the search request did not become unlawful with the discovery of the painting as there was no certainty yet as to fate and history of the painting.


To read the ruling of the court and a full English summary of the case and the ruling, click here.

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