Germany marks 20th anniversary of Nazi looted art agreement

BERLIN (AP) — German officials, Jewish leaders and others are marking the 20th anniversary of the international agreement on returning art looted by the Nazis with concrete pledges and proposals aimed at breathing new life into the process.

Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said Monday it is Germany’s responsibility to improve upon the so-called Washington Principles to restore cultural objects to their original Jewish owners or heirs, noting their meaning is much more than financial.

She says “behind every stolen object is the fate of an individual.”

Germany is implementing measures to make both research of looted items and restitution easier.

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World Jewish Congress head Ronald Lauder says Germany has been “exemplary” in many ways but he called for more to be done and noted several other countries that endorsed the Washington Principles have largely ignored them.

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