The Nazi art confiscations and forced sales that occurred during World War II have been described as “the greatest displacement of artwork in human history.” It has been estimated that between the years of 1933-1945, German forces, along with other Nazi agents, seized or forced the sale of approximately one-fifth of all Western art that was in existence at the time, a total of nearly 650,000 works then worth approximately $2.5 billion. Today, the looted art is valued at approximately $20.5 billion, with more than 100,000 works of art still unaccounted for.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on March 23, 2015. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Wolf, Erica, "“Woman in Gold”: Hollywood Explores the Restitution of Nazi-Stolen Art" (2015). AELJ Blog. 71.