Wrestling the Dead Hand of History: Perspectives on a Proposed State Department Commission on Nazi Looted Art ASIL Panel Ritz-Carlton Washington DC 26 March 2010

Events and Conferences
International Conferences
The new American Society of International Law Interest Group on the International Law of Cultural Heritage & the Arts, founded in late 2009 by Jennifer Kreder and Cristian DeFrancia is now engaged more actively in this area of law and look forward to facilitating lively discussions of cultural heritage and art law issues within the society. 

The first panel with ASIL was held on March 26, 2010, 2:30-4:00PM at the ASIL Annual Meeting at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington DC.  The panel was entitled "Wrestling the Dead Hand of History: Perspectives on a Proposed State Department Commission on Nazi Looted Art" with Ambassador J. Christian Kennedy, Stuart Eizenstat, Lucille Roussin and Charles Goldstein, moderated by Jennifer Kreder.  Full panel details and bios are below.

The Annual Meeting took place March 24-27, 2010, in Washington, DC.  See for details.  

March 26, 2010 Panel Description:

Wrestling the Dead Hand of History: Perspectives on a Proposed State Department Commission on Nazi Looted Art

The Nazis stole more art than any regime in history, targeting Jewish-owners and even planning to construct a museum in Linz, Austria, Hitler?s birthplace, to rival the Louvre.  Some of that art was auctioned in the infamous Jew-auctions now universally regarded as illegal, but much was funneled into the black market often with the proceeds paid into blocked accounts owners never could access.  It is estimated that 100,000 or more art objects looted by Nazis or sold under Nazi duress continue to circulate in the market.  Claims to art displaced during the Holocaust exploded in 1998, leading to the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets hosted by the United States.  In June 2009, the Holocaust Era Assets Conference in Prague resulted in the Terezín Declaration re-emphasizing the Washington Conference Principles.  Yet significant disagreement still exists as costly litigation continues to be filed, involving sixty years of evidence, different limitations periods, and the laws of multiple nations.  Recently, the State Department Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, J. Christian Kennedy, has conducted a series of Town Hall Meetings to get the views of interested individuals and organizations on the establishment of a U.S. commission on cultural materials displaced during World War II.  This panel will explore the pros and cons of establishing a commission to deal with Holocaust-looted artwork and how such a commission should be structured.  

Time & Place
Friday, March 26, 2:30-4:00PM, The Ritz Carlton, 1150 22nd Street, NW, Washington, DC

Ambassador J. Christian Kennedy, U.S. Department of State, Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues
Stuart E. Eizenstat, Head of U.S. Delegation to the Prague Holocaust Era Assets Conferences
Professor Lucille Roussin, Founder and Director, Holocaust Restitution Claims Practicum, Cardozo School of Law
Charles A. Goldstein, Counsel, Herrick, Feinstein, LLP

Professor Jennifer Anglim Kreder, Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University
Nunn Hall, Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, KY 41099
(859) 572-5889

Cristian DeFrancia & Jennifer Kreder
Co-Chairs, ASIL Interest Group on Cultural Heritage & the Arts


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