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From Murder To Museums: Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler and The Hunt For Nazi Looted Art In America-Current Legal Controversies Over Nazi Art Looting

Program Number: 2857 Presenter: Raymond Dowd

Museums today acknowledge that significant amounts of Nazi-looted art may have found its way into collections supported by U.S. taxpayers. The United States and its Allies fought World War II, promising, in victory, to undo the horrors of Nazism. At Nuremberg, Nazis were tried based on international law, which, in turn was based on the Lieber Code, Abraham Lincoln’s Executive Order 100 of April 23, 1863 which forbid taking the cultural property of the enemy. In 1998, in the wake of District Attorney Robert Morgenthau’s spectacular seizure of two paintings by the artist Egon Schiele at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, forty-four nations gathered in Washington D.C. at the Washington Conference on Nazi Confiscated Artwork to agree that in cases of artworks, the true owners should be determined, regardless of statutes of limitations and that, where possible, artworks should be returned to their true owners. As recently as

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