In 1998, through the Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, governments and museums agreed to honor a special responsibility to repair the damage caused by Nazi looting of Jewish owned art. According to the NYT, this special responsibility has been hijacked by museum lawyers who are running technical defenses to have claims dismissed on statute of limitations claims. Good lawyering does not always make good publicity, so perhaps special care needs to be taken to focus on substantive merits and not procedural gamesmanship. Of course, one man’s game is another man’s substance.
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