The US Supreme Court has heard arguments over a collection of medieval artworks that Nazi Germany acquired from Jewish art dealers.US descendants of the dealers allege the treasure trove, once owned by German royalty, was coerced out of their possession in a “forced sale.”
With Germany’s backing, the foundation that owns the pieces has called for the suit to be dismissed.
The collection is said to be worth at least 250 million dollars. It has been on display in a Berlin art museum since 1963 and is now owned by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation – the governmental entity that houses the collection.
The high court’s ruling could open the door for foreigners to use US courts to litigate alleged injustices in their own countries.
The case centers on a collection of 42 church art works – including altars, crosses and other Christian relics – made between the 11th and 15th centuries and passed down from one of Europe’s oldest princely houses.