US court dismisses art dispute over Nazi-era Guelph treasure


BERLIN – A US court has dismissed a lawsuit against a German museum foundation over a medieval treasury filed by heirs of Nazi-era Jewish art dealers, saying the US lacks jurisdiction over such a lawsuit.

The foundation, which oversees Berlin’s museums, said in a statement Tuesday that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week granted the foundation’s motion to dismiss the 2015 restitution lawsuit filed against it, bringing the case into the United States United States will end an appeal by the plaintiff.

The Guelph Treasure, which is at the center of a long-running ownership dispute, includes silver and gold crucifixes, altars, intricate silverwork and other relics worth more than 200 million euros (dollars).

The collection, which has been on display in Berlin since the early 1960s and is now in the Bode Museum there, is considered the largest collection of German church treasures in public hands.

The heirs claimed that their ancestors had no choice but to sell the Christian artifacts to the Nazi government in 1935, below their value.

The state foundation that owns the collection said the collectors were not forced to sell the treasures, arguing, among other things, that the collection wasn’t even in Germany at the time of the sale.

On Tuesday, the President of the Museum Foundation, also known as the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation or SPK, Herrmann Parzinger, welcomed the court decision.

“SPK is pleased with the District Court’s ruling, which upholds SPK’s long-standing assessment that this lawsuit for the return of the Guelph Treasure should not be heard in a US court,” Parzinger said.

“SPK has also long maintained that this lawsuit was unfounded because the 1935 sale of the Guelph Treasure was not a forced sale due to Nazi persecution,” he added.

The heirs originally made their claims in Germany, but a German commission found that the sale of the artworks was voluntary and at fair market value. A lawsuit was then filed in the United States. Germany and the SPK Foundation argued that the case did not belong in American courts.

The U.S. District Court ruling follows a February 2021 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned a lower court’s denial of the Berlin Foundation’s previous motion to dismiss this lawsuit.

#court #dismisses #art #dispute #Naziera #Guelph #treasure Source

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *