Request for restitution or compensation
M2RS studies the dispossession of cultural property. Here are specified the conditions for filing a file, the areas of jurisdiction of the different interlocutors, as well as the path of the file, from the opening up to the recommendation of remedial measures (compensation or restitution).
Contact the Mission: email@example.com
Contact the Commission pour l'indemnisation des victimes de spoliations (CIVS): firstname.lastname@example.org
Who can file a file?
Descendants, or more broadly entitled:
- a person who was the object of the theft of cultural property in France during the Second World War;
- a person who was the object of the plunder of cultural property in Europe between 1933 and 1945 and whose plundered cultural property is now in a public collection in France.
It is possible to contact the Mission for the Search and Restitution of Looted Cultural Property between 1933 and 1945 (M2RS) and/or the Commission for the Compensation of Victims of Dispossession (CIVS) for the purpose of compensation for the plunder or restitution of the cultural property.
The M2RS is competent to study the dispossession of cultural property.
According to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague, 14 May 1954), the Convention on Measures to Prohibit and Prevent the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (Paris, 14 November 1970) and the law of 7 July 2016 on freedom of creation, architecture and heritage, a property is recognized as cultural if it is of archaeological, artistic, aesthetic, historical, scientific or technical interest.
Definition of a cultural property
The M2RS is competent whatever the value of the work, and whatever its situation today: the property can be located - in a public collection in France or abroad, or in a private collection - or not be located, because it was not identified or because it was destroyed.
Other disposals - material or financial (furniture, buildings, professional disposals, bank accounts, insurance policies, etc.) - are the sole responsibility of the CIVS.
If the disposals concern both cultural property and other property and values, the M2RS will instruct the cultural component while the CIVS will instruct the other components.
What place and date of plunder?
The M2RS is competent to process:
- any looting of cultural property in France during the Occupation (June 1940 - late 1944);
- any looting of cultural property in Europe between 1933 and 1945 when the looted cultural property is now in France, especially in public collections.
The file can be opened with the M2RS (email@example.com) or with the CIVS (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In all cases, the applicant must provide, as far as possible, any information on the identity of the disposals and the circumstances of the dispossession. Any element, even the simplest, is useful (photographs of cultural property, interior of dwellings, letters, inventories, etc.). But the lack of precise information obviously does not prevent the processing of the file: the M2RS and the CIVS will carry out research.
The M2RS then conducts research on the cultural aspect of plunder: property searches, archives investigations.
For its part, the CIVS provides research on the other material and financial aspects of plunder. It also provides the bulk of genealogical research.
The M2RS and CIVS remain in contact with the family or applicant during the duration of the training.
When the plunder took place in France during the period of the Occupation, it falls within the jurisdiction of the CIVS.
The M2RS, which investigated the case, forwarded its findings to the CIVS. Within the CIVS, a rapporteur then examines the file taking into account all the disposals suffered and proposes measures of reparation (compensation or restitution) to the members (deliberating college) of the Commission. If the Commission finds that the property was stolen, it shall recommend to the Prime Minister a remedy.
When the plunder took place outside French territory between 1933 and 1945, it did not fall within the jurisdiction of the CIVS.
If these cultural properties are now present in France, the M2RS investigates the case, and it is the minister in charge of culture who proposes a restitution to the Prime Minister.
When the plunder took place in France during the period of the Occupation.
The Prime Minister decides on the remedy to be implemented on the basis of the recommendation of the CIVS. The decision is implemented by its departments and the Ministry of Culture.
When the plunder took place outside France between 1933 and 1945 and cultural goods are now present in France.
The decision is taken by the Prime Minister on the proposal of the Ministry of Culture.