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Cultural Heritage: Ownership

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her Department's policy is on whether cultural objects seized from (a) Germany and (b) other countries after the second world war by the Soviet Union are Russian property following the passing of the 1998 Federal Law on Cultural Valuables Displaced to the USSR by the Russian Parliament. (142782)

The effect of the Federal Law on Cultural Valuables Displaced to the USSR 1998 on the ownership of cultural objects situated in Russia is a question of Russian law, whether the objects in question come from Germany or other countries. It is not a matter of departmental policy. If an issue was raised in relation to the applicable law of a foreign country in legal proceedings in this country, it would be regarded as a question of fact, to be determined by the judge with the assistance of appropriate expert evidence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which (a) organisations and (b) individuals responded to her Department's consultation on the restitution of cultural objects spoliated in the Nazi era. (142783)

The organisations and individuals who responded to the consultation are as follows:

Art Loss Register

British Library

Charity Commission

Commission for Looted Art in Europe

CyMAL Museums Archives and Libraries Wales

CyMRU National Museums Wales

ICOM UK

Marbles Reunited

Museums Association

National Gallery

National Museums of Science and Industry

Royal Academy of Art

Sotheby's

Tate

The National Archives

Withers LLP

Fiona Fuller

Michael Heaps FRICS

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she intends to publish the (a) summary paper of and (b) responses to her Department’s consultation on the restitution of cultural objects spoliated in the Nazi era. (142784)

I intend to publish the responses to the consultation and a summary paper before the summer recess.