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Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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The restitution of Holocaust looted art and transitional justice : the perfect storm or the raft of the Medusa?

O'Donnell, Therese (2011) The restitution of Holocaust looted art and transitional justice : the perfect storm or the raft of the Medusa? European Journal of International Law, 22 (1). pp. 49-80. ISSN 0938-5428

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Abstract

This article considers the legal difficulties associated with restituting Holocaust-looted art. Can such claims provide platforms for examining the associated cultural implications of both the looting and restitution programmes? Notwithstanding its centrality to Nazism and the Holocaust, looting's reversal was not a post-war Allied priority. Consequently, looting's painful after-effects leave a sense of unfinished business. Restitution traditionally envisages a high profile for law and, in particular, courts. Taken together with restitution's importance within reconciliation processes, this highlights that these cases are clearly located within transitional justice discourse. For example, property restoration is entwined with reconstitution of individual and group identities. The article concludes that restitution is crucial to successful completion of transitional justice processes. However, law's role must be re-imagined beyond the current adversarial/judicial paradigm which fails within its own limited understandings of restitution and hampers rather than enhances reconciliation processes.