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Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016

(December 16, 2016)

The Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016 is an Act of Congress that became law in 2016. It is intended to provide victims of Nazi persecution and their heirs the opportunity to recover works of art confiscated or misappropriated by the Nazis.

This bill allows civil claims or causes of action for the recovery of artwork or certain other property lost between January 1, 1933, and December 31, 1945, because of Nazi persecution to be commenced within six years after the claimant's actual discovery of: (1) the identity and location of the artwork or other property, and (2) a possessory interest in the artwork or property.

Such statutory limitation period of six years after actual discovery preempts any other statutes of limitation or defenses relating to the passage of time.

Preexisting claims known by a claimant before enactment of this bill shall be considered discovered on the date of this bill's enactment if they were barred before, or not barred on, the date of enactment.

This bill applies to claims or actions that are: (1) pending on the date of this bill's enactment, including an action for which the time to file an appeal has not expired; or (2) filed after enactment but before 2027. But the bill does not apply to claims barred on the day before enactment of this bill if: (1) the claimant had knowledge on or after January 1, 1999, and (2) six years have passed from the date such claimant acquired such knowledge and during which time the claim was not barred by a statute of limitations. Click here for the text of the legislation.

Sources: “Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016,” Wikipedia;