GCILS Director, Professor Christian J. Tams was one of the lead authors of an amicus curiae brief on questions of state immunity implicated in Supreme Court proceedings concerning the restitution of major artworks.
The artworks – comprising the ‘Welfenschatz’ or Guelph treasure, said to be worth over $250 million – are on display in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin. Their restitution is sought by descendants of Jewish art dealers who owned the treasure, before it was acquired by the (then) State of Prussia, in 1935 from a consortium of Jewish art dealers. Their descendants say the sale was forced, but a Berlin museum claims the deal was fair.
The U.S. Supreme Court is called upon to decide whether Germany and its instrumentalities can rely on principles of State immunity. The brief was submitted by nine leading scholars of international law.
For more details, please see below- links to recent press coverage of this case: