Rebecca Keim

Document Type



Recognizing the gaps in existing legislation, this article will argue that disputes arising between claimants and museums regarding the repatriation of Nazi-looted artwork should be decided by binding arbitration rather than litigation. To facilitate such arbitration, international law should support the creation of an arbitration commission, which would provide the most efficient and consistent way to resolve claims. Moreover, a neutral forum with clear rules of law and procedure capable of resolving claims would not only be more fair to claimants, but also to museums and personal collectors. This article will first discuss the severity and magnitude of Nazi looting during the Holocaust. Next, the article will examine post-war efforts to retrieve stolen artwork, focusing upon international laws regarding the disposition of looted assets. Further, this article will analyze particular lawsuits that illustrate the ineffective nature of litigation as a means to facilitate the resolution of these disputes. Finally, this article will argue for the creation of international law or a treaty designating arbitration as the forum to resolve claims of stolen art resulting from the Holocaust, presenting the arguments for and against the use of arbitration to resolve looted artwork claims.