“German Museum Wants Holocaust Survivor to Return Ancient Gold Tablet”

“Berlin Museum Seeks Return of Ancient Gold Tablet”

“Berlin Museum Seeks Return of Ancient Gold Tablet”

by Michael Virtanen via Associated Press

“A Holocaust survivor’s family urged New York’s highest court Tuesday to let them keep an ancient gold tablet that their late father somehow obtained in Germany after World War II. 

Attorney Steven Schlesinger argued that the estate of Riven Flamenbaum has a legal claim, whether the native of Poland bought the relic from a Russian soldier or simply took it to compensate for losing his family at Auschwitz, the concentration camp where he spent several years. . . “ Read rest of article here .

Cultured Muse’s Input

The interesting part of this case is the legal element.  The concept of repatriation has been cause for much debate in the art world, particularly in regards to cultural resources taken in times of war.  The current world conflicts have only added to the anxiety of the issue, and this case regarding an WWII dispute may actually have bearing on cases dealing with items looted in war-torn countries today.  

Note that the Holocaust survivor’s attorney is arguing that the laws of war as in place at the time of the war should be applied to the case raised today.  Many cultural resource attorneys/parties have argued that rather the modern laws protecting cultural resources should be applied retroactively (i.e. to situations that happened before the law was enacted) because we are currently more interested in (more…)