Title: Germany Sets Guidelines for Repatriating Colonial-Era Artifacts
Author: Christopher F. Schuetze
Media Outlet: The New York Times
Publish Date: March 15, 2019
(…) Hannes Hartung, a lawyer specializing in art and artifacts who is also a lecturer at the University of Munich, said that the newly signed agreement was “soft law.” The pact is not legally binding and does not create any reliable legal framework, he added. “These basic points will not make any legal claims in Germany easier,” he said in an interview.
A major hurdle for legal claims is the question of who can represent groups of peoples, tribes or families who owned the artifacts more than a century ago.
But Klaus Lederer, the Berlin senator responsible for culture, wrote in an email exchange that the agreement was an important first step in a “process of discussion,” which German states need to follow up. “It was important to me that colonial injustice is clearly named as such,” he said.”