Only a handful of nations are trying to help
Italy is among the countries doing the least to identify and research works of art looted or otherwise acquired from Jews during the Holocaust, according to a report published on Wednesday. It is joined on the list by Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Argentina and Brazil, among others.
The report, compiled by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the World Jewish Restitution Organization, measures the progress of 47 countries that signed the Terezin Declaration in 2009 and the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art in 1998. Both agreements involve a commitment to making greater efforts to repatriate art confiscated or bought from Jews during World War II.
However, the report has found that only 34% of the 43 countries for which reliable information is available have made “major or substantial progress” toward implementing the principles outlined in the declaration.
Austria, the Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic are ranked highest in terms of commitment to restitution efforts. But Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference, told the New York Times that even those nations could do more. He said there was still a need for “countries to recognize that this is the right thing to do.”