'HEAR' Them Out

Source: Weekly Standard | May 18, 2016 | Alice B. Lloyd

In April, four colleagues rarely in alignment—Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas, Chuck Schumer of New York, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut—jointly proposed a bill to give heirs to Nazi-looted art their day in court. The Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act, now awaiting the attention of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is a federal solution to a problem formerly managed by the states. Judging by the diversity of its backers, it’s a solution that many in both parties will be eager to rally behind.

The recovery of Nazi-looted art is an untidy process of tracing provenance through the depths of only recently digitized databases. It’s functionally impossible without expert guidance. Those cases that have risen to wide public notice in the seven decades since the Holocaust have been ones of a certain grandeur. The best-known concern artworks looted from wealthy Viennese households, famous salons in the sparkling pre-Anschluss 1930s. Altmann v. Republic of Austria, also the subject of a popular book and movie, won for Maria Altmann five celebrated Klimts—a portrait of Altmann’s aunt, known as Austria’s Mona Lisa, among them—but only after years of Altmann’s lawyers battling hyper-regulation in her home state of California.


Max Liebermann’s Two Riders on the Beach, one of the looted paintings in the Gurlitt hoard


In a legal system unaccustomed to timeless ownership, granting families’ claims on their stolen treasures full credit under the law establishes claim to the world as it was before the Holocaust—a world in which a woman, looking upon a painting, would feel the same soul-stirring we do. And if the Holocaust was a failure of all humanity, the task of picking up what pieces remain is, as supporters of the HEAR Act see it, also the responsibility of us all.

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  • Consistent #6327

    slhancock1948 #6347

    We are going to face another holocaust soon. The globalists are not going to take any dissent sitting down. Those who do not agree are going to be put in reeducation camps against their will, and if they don’t comply after that, I believe we’ll be deemed worthless chattel.

    Pray for righteousness to be restored and for the peace of Jerusalem

    ConstitutionalConservative #6350

    And they continue to spread the lie Cruz can’t work with liberals and rino’s!
    All they have to do is to be right.

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