Israeli Museums May Own Nazi-Looted Art and Judaica, Organization Claims

Law States Profits From Looted Property Should Benefit Survivors

By JTA

Published January 09, 2014.
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An Israeli organization that recovers Jewish assets stolen by the Nazis said hundreds of items in Israeli museums may have been looted.

Hashava: The Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims’ Assets said Wednesday that hundreds of paintings, items of Judaica and other artworks in Israeli museums may be Nazi-looted art.

Hashava was set to meet Thursday with representatives of the Israel Museum, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Ein Harod Museum and the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum to seek their help in locating works in their collections that may have been looted by the Nazis.

Many works of art seized by the Nazis and discovered by the Allied forces in German museums or in storage were sent to Israel following World War II and no effort was made to find the original owners or their heirs, according to Hashava.

Under an Israeli law passed by the Knesset in 2005, if the original owners of Nazi-looted possessions cannot be found, proceeds from their sale are to be used to assist poverty-stricken Holocaust survivors or to fund Holocaust education projects.


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