The article discusses the development of restitution politics after the Gurlitt case. First, it summarizes the events that led to Cornelius Gurlitt's will to give his collection to the Kunstmuseum Bern in May 2014. Second, it compares the handling of the Gurlitt case to previous prominent cases of looted art, such as the restitution of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's Berliner Straßenszene in 2006 or Rudolf von Alt's Der alte Nordbahnhof in 2010. Politicians reacted quickly when the findings concerning the art in Gurlitt's apartment were published. The official announcements resulted in a larger budget for provenance research and the founding of the Zentrum für Kulturgutverluste in Magdeburg. Yet even today Germany has neither a restitution law nor an independent body that claimants can turn to in cases in which museums decline to negotiate over the restitution of an artwork.
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February 1, 2017
Research Article| February 01 2017
Julia Voss; Have German Restitution Politics Been Advanced Since the Gurlitt Case? A Journalist's Perspective. New German Critique 1 February 2017; 44 (1 (130)): 57–73. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-3705694
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