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Nazi art case sets precedent for Palestinian Nakba restitution

20 16 29

Palestinian victims of the 1948 Nakba could benefit from a landmark legal ruling by a French court which ordered a painting to be returned to the family of the Jewish art collector from whom it was looted during the Second World War. The decision follows numerous legal disputes over property looted from Jews by the Nazis which were later sold on to unsuspecting new owners. Of the estimated 650,000 art pieces stolen during the war, about 100,000 have yet to be returned, according to some experts.

Hailing the French court decision, lawyer Cedric Fischer, who acted for the Jewish family in question, said that the ruling “gives victims of the savagery committed by the Vichy government the right to recover their looted possessions, without a time limit.”

The painting, by Impressionist master Camille Pissarro, is said to be worth several million pounds. Originally belonging to Simon Bauer, his grandson Jean-Jacques Bauer, 87, says that it was included in an official French list of looted artworks during the Vichy period of the Nazi occupation.

Read: Israel culture minister seeks powers to punish violators of ‘Nakba Law’

Campaigners for Palestinian rights, meanwhile, say that the decision has set a precedent which should now apply equally to victims of the Nakba,........

© Middle East Monitor