Art Law Report

Important Changes to HEAR Act Preserve New York’s Demand and Refusal Rule (For Now)

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 26, 2016 at 3:35 PM

The Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act of 2016 has been pending for several monthsnow, and was recently recommended favorably by the Senate Judiciary Committee in September. The bill would create a uniform six-year statute of limitations for Nazi-looted art claims, harmonizing an otherwise patchwork state by state system.  While that consistency was laudable, our concern was that the bill as proposed would overrule New York’s important demand and refusal approach to statutes of limitations, with the effect that many otherwise timely claims in New York might become barred.  The bill’s text has been quietly amended to correct that, and in other interesting ways as well.  With the Presidential election just two weeks away, however, it remains anyone’s guess if the bill will become law before the new Congress is seated in January.

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Topics: Legislation, Nazi-looted art, Restitution, Statute of Limitations, World War II, HEAR Act, demand and refusal

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