U.S. Announces 'Best Practices' To Return Nazi-Looted Art, Invites More Nations To Join

U.S. Announces 'Best Practices' To Return Nazi-Looted Art, Invites More Nations To Join

The United States on Tuesday announced a landmark plan on returning Nazi-looted art, presenting clarifications to the guidelines credited some 25 years ago to help accelerate restitutions worldwide, TURAN's Washingrton correspondent reports.

The new agreement, called 'Best Practices' is supported by 22 countries and "is still open for endorsement," as Ellen Germain, State Department's Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, put it.

"We are hoping and expecting that more countries will endorse the best practices in the coming days and weeks," Germain told TURAN's correspondent during a briefing organized by the Department's Washington Press Center.

According to her, the Best Practices were prepared by a network of Special Envoys and Representatives for Holocaust Issues from 14 countries.

"We don’t say “sign,” et cetera, because as we’ve said a number of times, it’s legally non binding, but the best practices provide really helpful guidelines, practical definitions of how to go forward with art restitution," she emphasized.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the release of the guideline saying that it would bolster restitution efforts by more precisely defining what is considered Nazi-looted art and remedying processes that favor current possessors over rightful owners.

Observing that Holocaust distortion is on the rise, he said that efforts to resolve restitution claims are more important than ever and he encouraged other countries to join as well.

List of countries endorsing the Best Practices as of March 5:  Albania, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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