A source tells The Wall Street Journal that Germany’s handling of 1,400 works of art discovered in an apartment may be in violation of international protocol.

Washington could step up pressure on German authorities, who kept the 2012 discovery a secret, to re-situate the property with its rightful owners.

The Wall Street Journal:

According to the person, the State Department believes that prosecutors in Germany violated the Washington Principles of 1998, international norms that govern the handling of claims to art seized or looted by the Nazis. The specific provision violated calls for a speedy publication of information regarding the discovery of stolen works.

The person said the U.S. would also push Germany to change its 30-year statute of limitations for filing claims in cases where the artwork is found to have been held by a private individual.

[…] Earlier this week, after a report in a German magazine, prosecutors confirmed that they had discovered the trove of 1,400 works in early 2012 as part a tax-evasion investigation. They had kept the finding a secret, they said, because the country’s privacy laws prevented them from making any of the investigation’s details public.

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— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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