Wednesday 17 July 2013

German Court Rejects Mexican Restitution Claim

Mexico was contesting the results of an auction in June 2012 by auction house Lempertz and requesting the restitution of 25 pre-Columbian archaeological pieces. The Administrative Court in Munster has however rendered an unfavourable decision, and the pieces will soon pass into the possession of their buyers.
Mexico’s claim was based on a German law that was passed on 26 April 2007, stating that restitution can be granted when cultural goods are sold illegally. But the Administrative Court’s decision recalled that this law is not retroactive and cannot be applied for objects that entered Germany before 2007. In accordance, contentious objects from private collections that have been part of these collections for a great number of years cannot be restored.
It is not stated what kind of documentation the court was shown verifying where these objects were on 26 April 2007, and whether they were at that time legally held.
Art Media Agency (AMA), 'Mexico’s restitution claim rejected', 16 July 2013.

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