Panel to judge looted Nazi art makes headway

Swissinfo 11 May 2022

Plans for an independent commission to judge looted Nazi art have won initial backing from the Swiss parliament.

The House of Representatives unanimously agreed to call on the government to set up a panel, which issues recommendations in cases of cultural property confiscated by Germany's Nazi regime during the Second World War.

Social Democratic parliamentarian Jon Pult argued that other countries, including Germany, France and Britain, established similar national panels of experts.

The house also came out in favour of extending the mandate of a future commission to help assess suspected cases of cultural goods acquired in a “colonial context”.

The other parliamentary chamber, the Senate, still has to discuss the proposals.

Interior Minister Alain Berset told parliament on Wednesday that the government was willing to prepare a bill, but it rejected proposals to define a detailed framework.

The debate came amid a barrage of criticism over the display of Emil Georg Bührle’s controversial collection at Zurich’s fine arts museum, which opened last October.
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