Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2006

In Osteuropa 1-2/2006

Looted during the War
The Return of Looted Cultural Assets in International Law

Christoff Jenschke

Deutsche Fassung


There has always been great demand for cultural assets as a form of war booty. The view that seizure of cultural assets is an inappropriate war aim led the international community to ban the removal of cultural assets from one country to another. A corresponding form of international common law developed until the Vienna Congress in 1815. Few exceptions were permitted under this ban, which was also accompanied by a ban on using cultural assets for reparations. Among these exceptions were cases of restitution in kind, which Russia cites in its dispute with Germany over looted art.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2006, pp. 361–370)