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Redressing Historic Wrongs, Returning Objects to Their Rightful Owners or Laundering Tainted Objects? 21st-Century UK Remedies for Nazi-Era Injustices

  • Charlotte Woodhead (a1)

Abstract:

The United Kingdom’s Spoliation Advisory Panel hears claims for cultural objects held in museum collections of which their original owners lost possession during the Nazi era. The Panel aims to achieve “fair and just” solutions for the parties and was created in response to the strong impetus to return cultural objects lost by Jewish owners during the Nazi era. This article argues that understanding the rationale for this claims process and the choice of remedies is essential for achieving such just and fair solutions, specifically whether the Panel aims to redress the past injustices of Hitler’s tyranny, return objects to their “rightful owners,” or prevent the public’s unjust enrichment from access to objects “tainted” by their Nazi association. If it aims to return cultural objects to their rightful owners or to strip museums of unjust gains, it is only a small step to allowing moral claims by other claimant groups whose cultural objects reside in national museums.

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Redressing Historic Wrongs, Returning Objects to Their Rightful Owners or Laundering Tainted Objects? 21st-Century UK Remedies for Nazi-Era Injustices

  • Charlotte Woodhead (a1)

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