Actress Helen Mirren testified before federal lawmakers Tuesday in support of a bill that would make it easier for Holocaust victims and their families to seek art stolen by the Nazis. Former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is co-sponsoring the bill in the Senate and led Tuesday’s hearing.
The Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act would set a six-year statute of limitations on claims for Nazi-era stolen art, which would begin upon discovery of the art. Currently, lawyers for people and institutions accused of owning the art have argued that the statute begins when the Nazi-era crime was committed—during World War II. In some states, that statute expires after only a few years.
“Over 70 years later, we’re still trying to cope with the consequences of the Holocaust,” Cruz said during the hearing. “This bill will help ensure that claims for restitution of Nazi-looted art are adjudicated based on the actual facts and merits” and not “by technical or non-merits defenses that far too often work to the disadvantage of Holocaust victims and their families.”
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