Howard Spiegler addresses important issues regarding the HEAR Act

October 2019

Howard N. Spiegler, co-chair of Herrick’s Art Law Group, spoke on a panel last Friday, October 25, at the annual New York County Lawyers’ Art Litigation and Dispute Resolution Institute.

The panel addressed the HEAR Act and how it impacts claims to recover artwork lost during the Nazi era. In particular, Howard critiqued the recent decisions by the Southern District and the Second Circuit in the case of Zuckerman v. Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is being handled by Herrick on behalf of the plaintiff. In Zuckerman, the plaintiff’s family was forced to sell a valuable Picasso in order to escape from Nazi and Fascist persecution during the Nazi era. Citing recent U.S Supreme Court cases, Howard explained that the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that laches cannot be applied in a case that is governed by a Congressionally mandated statute of limitations, as was enacted by the HEAR Act. Moreover, Howard underscored that the HEAR Act expressly adopts as U.S. policy the terms of the Terezin Declaration, which specifically refers to “sales under duress” as losses during the Nazi era that should be rectified, and the HEAR Act therefore broadly covers artworks “lost . . . because of Nazi persecution.”

Herrick’s Art Law Group is one of the world's most prominent art and cultural property law practices, and its art litigation attorneys are recognized throughout the world as leaders in the art recovery area.

For more information:

Howard N. Spiegler at +1 212 592 1444 or [email protected]

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