Political developments :

15 November 2019: German Parliament votes on three proposals for Nazi-Looted Art

Following a meeting of the German Parliament's Culture and Media Committee on 23 October, three proposals were voted on by the full Parliament on 15 November.

A Coalition and FDP proposal that restitution should be further advanced and the structure and role of the German Advisory Commission (Beratende Kommission) be developed was passed. The proposal called on the Federal Government to provide the Advisory Commission with a newly organized and staffed office in Berlin and its own online presence. The office must be able to handle its administrative tasks independently and to be able to competently assist the Commission in research matters. In addition, the Advisory Commission and its office must be provided with an appropriate budget within the economic plan of the German Centre for Cultural Property Losses (DZK).

The two other proposals were voted down. One, from the FDP demanded a constitutional foundation under civil law to deal with Nazi looted art, which should investigate all potential disputes in the federal collections. In addition, the foundation would act as a branch office of the Advisory Commission in place of the DZK. The second proposal, from the Left, argued both for a restitution law based on the 1999 German Joint Declaration and for the creation of a legal basis for restitution by private individuals in accordance with Article 14 paragraph 3 of the Basic Law. 

To read the Parliamentary announcement, click here. For the Committee's press release, click here.