May 4, 2012

A Petition for the U. S. Senate to Abandon S. 2212 and to vote for the Stolen Artwork Restitution Act


by Pierre Ciric

As a second generation holocaust survivor, I have concluded that S. 2212, in shielding any government-related foreign institution from ANY liability or suit in the United States for claims for artworks related to cultural exchanges, and subject to pillage, plunder or illegal excavation, is appalling.

In 1998, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and its members promised to perform in-depth provenance research for their entire collections, during hearings held by Jim Leach, Chair of the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services.

Not only did AAMD fail to honor those commitments, but it is now lobbying to continue the tragedy of the Holocaust and all subsequent genocides, by asking Congress to ensure that theft from owners in times of war and dictatorship and the greed resulting from its commercial exploitation are officially protected from justice.

The so-called Nazi carve-out in the bill gives the illusion that Nazi-looted art claims will be preserved, which is both untrue and unfair.

I am sponsoring the petition "Senate: Abandon S. 2212, Vote for the Stolen Artwork Restitution Act." We reached 130 supporters in less than three days after the Petition was online.  Supporters appear to represent a wide variety of interests across various social, age and cultural groups.  The petition can be found at: https://www.change.org/petitions/senate-abandon-s-2212-vote-for-the-stolen-artwork-restitution-act.

Pierre Ciric practices law in New York.

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