MOSCOW, 8 Feb – RIA Novosti. The US Supreme Court has rejected a claim by the heirs of Jewish art dealers demanding that Germany return the Guelph Treasure, The Art Newspaper reports. The collection, which is estimated at over $ 200 million, remains in Berlin.
The US Supreme Court refused to consider the claim, arguing that it has no right to decide a question that is not in its jurisdiction: the defendant is a foreign state, Germany. Then the heirs said that the seizure of property was accompanied by “violations of international law.”
According to them, the collection acquired in 1929 by their ancestors was sold in 1935 to the Nazi government under pressure, and this case should be considered an act of genocide. In response, the Supreme Court noted that the property was seized by the German government from German citizens, making this an internal matter for the country.
The “Guelph Treasure”, a collection of medieval works of church art from the 11th-15th centuries, has been tried to sue Germany for 13 years. The collection now belongs to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, and is exhibited at the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts in Berlin. Culture
Until 1929, it was the property of the Duke of Brunswick, who sold it to a consortium of Jewish art dealers. In 1935, 42 items were bought from art dealers by the Nazi government, and Hermann Goering was personally involved in the deal. They paid a fairly generous price for those times: 4.25 million Reichsmarks. It is for this part of the collection that the struggle is now underway.
Experts say that, as in the case of Maria Altman, who in 2006 managed to sue five paintings by Gustav Klimt from Austria (only one of them “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer” was subsequently sold for 135 million dollars), a serious precedent. The case of the “Guelph Treasure” can also significantly affect the future policy of returning property to victims of the Holocaust. Culture