03. December 2021

Supplementary Decision of the Advisory Commission in the case of the heirs of Felix Hildesheimer v. Hagemann Stiftung

The Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property, unanimously decided at its last meeting to recommend that the Franz Hofmann and Sophie Hagemann Stiftung make a compensation payment in the amount of 285,000 Euro to the heirs of Felix Hildesheimer.

The subject of the proceedings is a violin by Giuseppe Guarneri “filius Andreae”. The fate of persecution of Felix Hildesheimer and his family and the loss of the instrument as a result of Nazi persecution is undisputed between the parties. The Advisory Commission has already recommended that the violin be left with the Hagemann Stiftung and that the heirs of Felix Hildesheimer be compensated for the value of the instrument (recommendation of 7 December 2016). Most recently, both parties asked the Advisory Commission to once again determine the value of the instrument after restoration had been completed. The expert opinions obtained indicated an average value of 285,000 Euro.
In partial amendment of its existing recommendation, the Advisory Commission therefore recommends that the Hagemann Stiftung provide the heirs of Felix Hildesheimer with payment in the amount of 285,000 Euro as compensation for the loss suffered.
The Advisory Commission recognizes that the new Board of Directors of the Hagemann Stiftung appointed in 2021 has been particularly committed to a just and fair solution in this matter. The Commission would therefore welcome if the parties could agree on a joint event – such as a commemorative concert – that would keep the memory of Felix Hildesheimer alive and allows to turn the Guarneri violin into a real “instrument of reconciliation”.

22. July 2021

The Advisory Commission recommends to the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin not to restitute the "Portrait of Alfred Kerr" by Lovis Corinth to the heirs of Robert Graetz - Appointment of a new member to the Advisory Commission

1. The Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially from Jewish property, chaired by Prof. Hans-Jürgen Papier, decided unanimously on 12 July 2021 in the case of the heirs of Robert Graetz versus Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin to recommend that the painting Portrait of Alfred Kerr by Lovis Corinth not be restituted to the heirs of Robert Graetz.

The painting was part of the extensive art collection of Robert Graetz. Graetz was a successful entrepreneur and partner in the company Glass & Graetz oHG in Berlin. Because of his Jewish ancestry, he and his family were persecuted individually and collectively. His children from his first marriage managed to escape abroad; the son of his second wife, Bluma Graetz, was taken to England on a Kindertransport. After the invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, Bluma Graetz was classified as an "enemy of the state" because of her nationality and extradited to Russia via Turkey, where she had to perform forced labor for six years. Robert Graetz was deported on 14 April 1942 on the 14th Transport to the Trawniki concentration camp near Lublin. A last message to his daughter has survived from the Warsaw Ghetto, dated 16 June 1942. He was declared dead on 31 December 1945.
In light of the Graetz family’s fate of persecution, the Commission assumes that most of the family's extensive art collection was lost during National Socialism as a result of persecution. In the opinion of the Advisory Commission, however, it has not been demonstrated with sufficient probability that the painting in dispute was also seized from Robert Graetz as a result of persecution and that he may have been the primary victim. In addition, a settlement concluded in 1957 precludes the restitution of the property in this case. In this settlement, the heirs of Robert Graetz reached an agreement with the owners of the painting at the time regarding the sale of the painting to the Schiller Theater. On the basis of the settlement, the heirs of Robert Graetz received part of the proceeds of the sale as compensation. In its overall assessment, the Advisory Commission has therefore come to the conclusion that the painting is not to be restituted to the heirs of Robert Graetz.
However, the Advisory Commission attaches importance to the statement that the history of the painting is linked with three – if one adds the sitter, with four – fates of oppression and persecution. The Advisory Commission recommends that the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin acknowledge this provenance in an appropriate manner in its future display of the Portrait of Alfred Kerr.

2. In agreement with the ministers of culture and the cultural senators of the federal states and the national municipal associations, Monika Grütters, Minister of State for Culture, has appointed the former State Premier of North-Rhine Westphalia, Professor Jürgen Rüttgers, to the Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially from Jewish property. The appointment of a new member had become necessary following the retirement of Prof. Dietmar von der Pfordten.

30. April 2021

Beschluss des Stadtrats der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf zu Franz Marcs "Füchse"

Die Beratende Kommission im Zusammenhang mit der Rückgabe NS-verfolgungsbedingt entzogenen Kulturguts, insbesondere aus jüdischem Besitz, begrüßt die Ankündigung des Stadtrats der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf, das Gemälde Füchse von Franz Marc an die Erben nach Kurt Grawi zu restituieren.

Die Beratende Kommission NS-Raubgut wurde von Bund, Ländern und Kommunen geschaffen, um eine Prüfung nach der Handreichung, wie sie die kultur-bewahrenden Institutionen vornehmen, um eine ethisch-moralische und politische Bewertung zu ergänzen. Kurt Grawi wurde nach dem Pogrom vom November 1938 im KZ Sachsenhausen interniert, seines Vermögens beraubt und anschließend mit 10 Reichsmark ins Exil vertrieben. Für seine Weiterreise ab Brüssel war Grawi auf fremde Unterstützung angewiesen. In dieser Situation hat er versucht, das mutmaßlich unter erheblichen persönlichen Risiken ins Ausland verbrachte Gemälde zu verkaufen. Wie bereits in früheren Empfehlungen geht die Kommission davon aus, dass ein Rechts-geschäft außerhalb des NS-Machtbereichs die Annahme eines NS-verfolgungsbedingten Entzugs nicht notwendigerweise ausschließt.

Auch im Falle von Kurt Grawi stand der Verkauf in einem unmittelbaren Zusammenhang mit der nationalsozialistischen Verfolgung. Grawi selbst hat betont, dass er nur wegen seiner Flucht aus Deutschland dazu gezwungen sei, das Gemälde zu verkaufen, um sich und seiner Familie im Exil eine neue Existenz aufzubauen. Angesichts dieser Sachlage hat es die Beratende Kommission NS-Raubgut als gerecht und fair erachtet, der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf zu empfehlen, das Bild an die Erben nach Kurt Grawi zu restituieren. Von einer grundlegenden Änderung der bisherigen Praxis kann entgegen einigen Presseberichten nicht die Rede sein.

26. March 2021

The Advisory Commission recommends that Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf restitute the painting "Füchse" by Franz Marc to the heirs of Kurt and Else Grawi

The Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property, chaired by Prof. Hans-Jürgen Papier, decided on 10 February 2021 in the case of the heirs of Kurt and Else Grawi versus Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf to recommend that the painting Füchse [Foxes] by Franz Marc be restituted to the community of heirs of Kurt and Else Grawi. The case was decided by a majority of six votes (with three votes against).

The painting was owned by Kurt Grawi until at least February 1940. Grawi was a banker, broker and independent entrepreneur. Because of his Jewish origins, he was persecuted both individually and collectively. After the Kristallnacht pogrom, Grawi was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen concentration camp for several weeks. At the end of April 1939, he emigrated via Brussels to Santiago de Chile, where he joined relatives of his wife, Else, on 4 June 1939. Grawi was allowed to take 10 Reichsmark with him. He was reliant on assistance from friends for his onward journey from Brussels. In December 1939, Else Grawi and the couple’s two sons emigrated via Italy to Chile, where they were reunited with Kurt Grawi.
A letter dated 30 April 30 1939, written by Kurt Grawi in Brussels shortly before he continued his onward journey to Chile, indicates that Füchse was located in Paris at that point awaiting onward shipment to New York, where it was to be sold “despite the unfavorable times”. Grawi emphasized that, for himself and his family, “the result of the sale will provide the basis for our emigration”.
The painting was sold to William and Charlotte Dieterle in New York between February and September 1940. It entered the holdings of the Städtische Kunstsammlung Düsseldorf in 1962 as a donation from Helmut Horten. 

The Advisory Commission believes that the painting Füchse by Franz Marc should be restituted, even though the sale took place outside the National Socialist sphere of influence. The sale in 1940 in New York was the direct consequence of imprisonment in a concentration camp and subsequent emigration, and was so closely connected with National Socialist persecution that the location of the event becomes secondary in comparison.

08. February 2021

The Advisory Commission recommends that the City of Cologne restitute the watercolor "Kauernder weiblicher Akt" by Egon Schiele to the heirs of Heinrich Rieger

The Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property, chaired by Prof. Hans-Jürgen Papier, decided unanimously on 29 September 2020 in the case of the heirs of Heinrich Rieger versus Stadt Köln to recommend that the watercolor Kauernder weiblicher Akt [Crouching Nude Girl] by Egon Schiele be restituted to the heirs of Heinrich Rieger.

Over the course of decades, Heinrich Rieger had built a substantial collection of contemporary art in Vienna. He probably received the watercolor Kauernder weiblicher Akt from the artist himself, whom he treated as his dentist. After the so-called annexation on 13 March 1938 Rieger was severely persecuted for his Jewish heritage. He lost almost the entirety of his collection in emergency sales and acts of “aryanization”. Rieger was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942, where he died on an unknown date. His wife was deported to Auschwitz on 16 May 1944 and probably killed in the gas chambers upon arrival. Only their son Robert managed to escape to the USA in 1938.
The exact fate of the Kauernder weiblicher Akt is unknown. However, Rieger’s collection remained largely intact until 13 March 1938. Rieger rarely relinquished works, particularly those by Schiele, and only in exceptional cases. In accordance with the principles of prima facie evidence, the Commission therefore considers it a proven fact that Kauernder weiblicher Akt was still part of Rieger’s collection on 13 March 1938 and subsequently confiscated due to Nazi persecution.

02. February 2021

The Advisory Commission recommends that the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg restitute the painting "Geschwister"

The Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property, chaired by Prof. Hans-Jürgen Papier, decided unanimously on 10 December 2020 in the case of the heirs of Max Fischer versus Land Baden-Württemberg, to recommend that the painting Geschwister [Siblings] by Erich Heckel be restituted to the heirs of Max Fischer.

The painting was owned by Max Fischer until January 1934. Fischer was a doctor of history. Because of his Jewish origins, he was persecuted both individually and collectively. He left Germany in 1935 and emigrated permanently to the United States in 1936.
In January 1944, the painting was in the possession of Erich Heckel and located in the cellar of his Berlin apartment building. Heckel donated it to the Kunsthalle Karlsruhe museum in 1967, where it remains to this day.
It could not be clarified when and under what circumstances Erich Heckel came into possession of the painting or even obtained ownership of it between January 1934 and January 1944. In the view of the Advisory Commission, it thus had to be assumed that the painting was seized as the result of Nazi persecution. The Commission has therefore unanimously decided to recommend the restitution of Geschwister to the heirs of Max Fischer.

The heirs have announced that they plan to donate the painting Geschwister to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The Advisory Commission acknowledges this as a special gesture.

18. January 2021

Recommendation of the Advisory Commission in the case of the heirs of Felix Hildesheimer versus Hagemann Foundation not implemented due to refusal of the Hagemann Foundation

The Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property, states:

1. The recommendation of the Advisory Commission of 07 December 2016 in the case of the heirs of Felix Hildesheimer and the Franz Hofmann and Sophie Hagemann Foundation (hereinafter: Hagemann Foundation) has not been implemented. The Advisory Commission recommended that the Hagemann Foundation pay 100,000 Euro to the heirs of Felix Hildesheimer as compensation for a Guarneri violin in its possession. Both sides accepted this as a just and fair solution. For the Hagemann Foundation, the Board of Directors publicly confirmed on 09 December 2016 its intention to follow the recommendation of the Advisory Commission. Nevertheless, to date, the Hagemann Foundation has not made the recommended compensation payment to the heirs, either in full or in part.

2. The Hagemann Foundation initially justified its inability to do so by citing legal difficulties under foundation law. However, neither is it clear to what extent the Hagemann Foundation has expressed to the Foundation Supervisory Authority a serious intention to comply with the recommendation of the Advisory Commission, nor have other ways of raising the compensation sum been pursued with the requisite effort. The Advisory Commission regrets that none of the public institutions involved has been able to induce the Hagemann Foundation to comply with the Advisory Commission's recommendation and to support it in doing so.

3. In response to the request of the Advisory Commission to explain its further course of action, the Hagemann Foundation has now referred to new research results which would prove that Felix Hildesheimer was not forced to sell his business as early as 1937 – as still assumed in 2016 – but only on 11 January 1939. The Hagemann Foundation therefore feels justified in abandoning any efforts to implement the recommendation. In doing so, not only does it contradict the applicable principles for the restitution of property looted by the National Socialists as laid down in the Washington Principles and the Guidelines, but it also ignores the established standard of knowledge about living conditions in National Socialist Germany, especially after 09 November 1938.

4. For four years now, the community of heirs, whose German ancestors were subjected to severe persecution under National Socialism, has been given the impression that a political lack of will and bureaucratic hurdles stood in the way of reparation for historical injustice in Germany. The Advisory Commission considers it particularly inappropriate that the Hagemann Foundation continues to claim that its handling of the matter makes the violin an “instrument of reconciliation”.

Appendix

The Advisory Commission’s recommendation of 07 December 2016 was based on the following considerations:

Sophie Hagemann acquired a Guarneri violin in 1974, now owned by the Hagemann Foundation. In the course of a planned restoration, the Hagemann Foundation began to investigate the provenance of the instrument. This revealed that the Speyer music dealer Felix Hildesheimer had acquired the violin on 24 January 1938. As a Jew, Felix Hildesheimer was persecuted individually and collectively. After he was forced to sell his home and music store, Felix Hildesheimer committed suicide on 01 August 1939. His two daughters had previously managed to emigrate to Australia and the United States respectively. His widow was deported to Gurs on 26 October 1940, and was able to escape to the USA via Marseille on 10 November 1941.
The remaining furniture was confiscated by the Gestapo and auctioned off. In view of these facts, it is not clear how Felix Hildesheimer could have lost the violin in a way that would not oblige its restitution today. In its recommendation, the Advisory Commission therefore came to the conclusion that the violin must be considered as cultural property seized as a result of National Socialist persecution in accordance with the Washington Principles and the Guidelines.
Because the donor acquired the violin in good faith and the Hagemann Foundation itself made considerable efforts to clarify the provenance of the instrument, the Advisory Commission refrained from recommending restitution. Instead, it recom-mended that the heirs be financially compensated. At the time, the violin had a value of 150,000 Euro, from which renovation costs of 50,000 Euro were to be deducted. The heirs were therefore to receive compensation of 100,000 Euro. Both sides agreed to this course of action.

20. November 2017

New chair of the Advisory Commission

At the meet­ing of the Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mis­sion on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property, on 09 Novem­ber 2017 Pro­fes­sor Hans-Jür­gen Pa­pi­er was elect­ed as the new chair­man and Pro­fes­sor Wolf Tegeth­off as the new deputy chair­man of the Com­mis­sion.

Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion­er for Cul­ture and the Me­dia, Moni­ka Grüt­ters, wel­comed the elec­tion of Hans-Jür­gen Pa­pi­er: “With the elec­tion of Prof. Pa­pi­er, a well-known and high­ly re­gard­ed in­di­vid­u­al is tak­ing over as chair of the Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mis­sion. Prof. Pa­pi­er has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in deal­ing with com­pli­cat­ed and com­plex sit­u­a­tions and this will be in­valu­able in his new hon­orary post. I am de­light­ed that, once again, a for­mer pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court is tak­ing up this im­por­tant po­si­tion as the suc­ces­sor to Prof. Lim­bach. In-depth le­gal knowl­edge, ex­pe­ri­ence in strik­ing a bal­ance and the high so­cial rep­u­ta­tion of a pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court will con­tin­ue to strength­en the work of the Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mis­sion in a na­tion­al and in­ter­na­tion­al con­text. The Com­mis­sion’s vol­un­tary work, which in­volves great per­son­al com­mit­ment, is so im­por­tant be­cause the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mis­sion are a sig­nif­i­cant part of ful­fill­ing Ger­many’s moral obli­ga­tion to deal with Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty and the prac­ti­cal im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Wash­ing­ton Prin­ci­ples.”

Pro­fes­sor Pa­pi­er said: “I am look­ing for­ward to tak­ing up this new po­si­tion of re­spon­si­bil­i­ty. In Jut­ta Lim­bach, the Com­mis­sion was chaired by an in­di­vid­u­al who was high­ly re­gard­ed both in Ger­many and abroad, and who had ex­ert­ed a de­ci­sive in­flu­ence on the work of the Com­mis­sion since it was found­ed. It is a great hon­or for me to con­tin­ue this work be­cause the search for fair and just so­lu­tions with re­gard to Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty re­mains a high­ly sen­si­tive obli­ga­tion, both eth­i­cal­ly and po­lit­i­cal­ly.”

Pro­fes­sor Pa­pi­er has been a mem­ber of the Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mis­sion since 2016. He was pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court from 2002 to 2010. Be­tween 2010 and 2015, Pro­fes­sor Pa­pi­er was chair of the Cham­ber of Pub­lic Re­spon­si­bil­i­ty of the Evan­gel­i­cal Church in Ger­many. From 1991 to 1998, he was chair­man of the In­de­pen­dent Com­mis­sion for the Re­view of As­sets of Par­ties and Mass Or­gan­i­sa­tions of the GDR. He was deputy chair­man of the ethics com­mit­tee of the Bay­erische Lan­desärztekam­mer from 1996 to 1998.

Pro­fes­sor Tegeth­off has been a mem­ber of the Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mis­sion since 2008. He has been the di­rec­tor of the Zen­tralin­sti­tut für Kun­st­geschichte in Mu­nich since 1991 and has held guest pro­fes­sor­ships in Bonn, Haifa and Venice. Prof. Tegeth­off has been hon­orary pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mu­nich since 2000.

Pro­fes­sor Lim­bach was the elect­ed chair­wom­an of the Com­mis­sion from 2003 un­til her death in Septem­ber 2016. Pro­fes­sor Thomas Gaeth­gens was deputy chair­man un­til 2008; he was then suc­ceed­ed in the post in 2008 by Pro­fes­sor Rein­hard Rürup, who has act­ed as chair­man since the end of 2015 due to the ill­ness and death of Pro­fes­sor Lim­bach.

10. November 2016

Further development of the Advisory Commission

With the agree­ment of the fed­er­al states and the lead­ing mu­nic­i­pal as­so­ci­a­tions, the Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion­er for Cul­ture and the Me­dia, Moni­ka Grüt­ters, has pre­sent­ed key points for the fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mis­sion on the re­turn of cul­tur­al prop­er­ty seized as a re­sult of Nazi per­se­cu­tion, es­pe­cial­ly Jew­ish prop­er­ty, which was es­tab­lished in 2003.

These are:

- the op­tion for the Com­mis­sion to be called up­on by pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als in fu­ture, on the side of the hold­er of the cul­tur­al prop­er­ty,
- greater trans­paren­cy, es­pe­cial­ly through pub­li­ca­tion of the Com­mis­sion’s Rules of Pro­ce­dure,
- ex­pan­sion of the Com­mis­sion from eight to ten mem­bers, in­clud­ing at least one Jew­ish mem­ber who can make a more di­rect con­tri­bu­tion from the per­spec­tive of vic­tims,
- pub­lic jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of rec­om­men­da­tions.

Moni­ka Grüt­ters, Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion­er for Cul­ture and the Me­dia, said: “The thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Na­tion­al So­cial­ist art theft is an on­go­ing com­mit­ment for Ger­many. It was there­fore ex­treme­ly im­por­tant for me to de­vel­op the Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mis­sion in this way in or­der to en­sure it is able to con­tin­ue per­form­ing its sen­si­tive and chal­leng­ing du­ties suc­cess­ful­ly in the fu­ture, with recog­ni­tion from all sides. The Com­mis­sion serves to en­sure that Ger­many deals hon­est­ly and as­sertive­ly with its past. These pro­posed re­forms are an im­por­tant step to­wards achiev­ing ev­er-bet­ter im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Wash­ing­ton Prin­ci­ples – in the in­ter­ests of the vic­tims of Nazi art theft and their de­scen­dants, and al­so of mu­se­ums in Ger­many.”

The Fed­er­al Cab­i­net ap­proved the fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the Com­mis­sion this week. The Chiefs of Staff Con­fer­ence has to­day unan­i­mous­ly agreed the pro­pos­als and re­ferred the key points to the KMK Plenum of Min­is­ters for the fi­nal de­ci­sion to be tak­en.

The fol­low­ing new mem­bers were ap­point­ed to the Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mis­sion: Pro­fes­sor Raphael Gross, di­rec­tor of the Si­mon Dub­now In­sti­tute for Jew­ish His­to­ry and Cul­ture; Gary Smith, philoso­pher and for­mer di­rec­tor of the Amer­i­can Acade­my in Berlin; and Mar­i­on Eck­ertz-Höfer, for­mer pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­al Ad­min­is­tra­tive Court.
Oth­er changes at the Com­mis­sion con­cern the ten-year lim­it on the term of of­fice for new­ly ap­point­ed mem­bers and the op­tion for the Com­mis­sion to or­der ex­pert re­ports if nec­es­sary in fu­ture. The Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion­er for Cul­ture and the Me­dia will cov­er the costs as­so­ci­at­ed with the prepa­ra­tion of these ex­pert re­ports.

Prof. Moni­ka Grüt­ters said: “I an­tic­i­pate that all Ger­man mu­se­ums with­out ex­cep­tion are, of course, pre­pared for pro­ceed­ings be­fore the Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mis­sion. This is made nec­es­sary by the moral and his­tor­i­cal du­ty to­wards the vic­tims of Nazi per­se­cu­tion. It is al­so in the in­sti­tu­tions’ own in­ter­ests. Should the par­ties not come to an agree­ment on an ap­peal to the Com­mis­sion, I urge the bod­ies re­spon­si­ble for the in­sti­tu­tions to work to­wards an ap­peal in ac­cor­dance with the agreed and ef­fec­tive Wash­ing­ton Prin­ci­ples. Per­son­al­ly I shall con­tin­ue to pro­vide strong sup­port for the in­sti­tu­tions fund­ed by my de­part­ment.”

The Com­mis­sion was formed in 2003 by the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, the fed­er­al states and the lead­ing mu­nic­i­pal as­so­ci­a­tions to me­di­ate in cas­es of dis­pute in­volv­ing the resti­tu­tion of cul­tur­al as­sets that were con­fis­cat­ed dur­ing the “Third Re­ich”, es­pe­cial­ly from per­se­cut­ed Jew­ish cit­i­zens, and which are now held by mu­se­ums, li­braries, archives and oth­er pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions in the Fed­er­al Re­pub­lic of Ger­many. The Com­mis­sion acts as a me­di­a­tor be­tween the or­ga­ni­za­tions in pos­ses­sion of the col­lec­tions and the for­mer own­ers of the cul­tur­al as­sets or their heirs, if de­sired by both par­ties. It can al­so make rec­om­men­da­tions for set­tling dis­putes.

Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion­er for Cul­ture and the Me­dia, Moni­ka Grüt­ters, once again ex­pressed her deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the out­stand­ing work car­ried out to date by the Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mis­sion and for the enor­mous vol­un­tary com­mit­ment of its mem­bers. This was es­pe­cial­ly true for Prof. Jut­ta Lim­bach, the for­mer pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court who re­cent­ly passed away. Prof Lim­bach had been the chair of the Com­mis­sion since its in­cep­tion.