On Thursday, June 29, the National Assembly unanimously passed – as did the Senate on May 23 – the bill on the restitution of cultural property that was the subject of dispossession in the context of the anti-Semitic persecution perpetrated between 1933 and 1945.
This bill creates in the heritage code a derogation from the principle of inalienability of public collections; It establishes a framework for the removal from the public domain of stolen goods belonging to public collections in order to return them to their rightful owners, without having to resort to specific legislative texts ("specific laws"). Last year, the law of 21 February 2022 on the restitution or return of certain cultural property to the rightful holders of their owners victims of anti-Semitic persecution allowed the restitution or delivery of 15 works of public collections; In the future, it will no longer be necessary to pass such a law to restore the stolen works in the context of anti-Semitic persecution.
The decision to leave the public collections (national or territorial) will take place after the opinion of the Commission for the compensation of victims of dispossession, responsible for establishing the facts of spoliation.
The text of the law adopted by the Senate having been amended by the National Assembly, a joint committee of deputies and senators must still meet in July to agree on the final version of the text. The law will then be definitively adopted.
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