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31 May 2017: Cultural Committee of German Parliament holds closed expert hearing on the Advisory Commission

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The cultural committee of the German Bundestag discussed the further development of the Advisory Commission (formerly known as the Limbach Commission) in a closed expert session.

The experts heard were Imke Gielen of the law firm von Trott zu Solz Lammek, Rüdiger Mahlo of the Jewish Claims Conference, Reinhard Rürup of the Advisory Commission, Tilmann von Stockhausen of the German Museums Association (Deutscher Museumsbund) and lawyer Markus Stötzel as well as cultural minister Monika Grütters.

The "guiding questions“ indicate a broad range of interest by the committee which had been sidelined by Grütters during the recent deliberations and announced changes of the way the Advisory Commission is to work in the future. Questions relate i.a. to the general assessment of the recent changes, in particular regarding transparency and the composition of the Commission.

The hearing comes at a time when Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, has critizised the changes of last autumn as not going far enough. In particular he called it a flaw that the Commission can only act if is called upon by both sides of a dispute, a rule that Grütters says had proven its worth.

The questions relating to transparency apprently relate to a recent legal dispute in which the Advisory Commission had denied access to its files amid allegations of a lack of impartiality (Decision by Oberverwaltungsgericht Magdeburg, 3 L 115/15 of March 23, 2017).

To read the announcement of the hearing, click here.

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