Senate panel approves Nazi-stolen art recovery bill

Jewish families are one step closer to recovering artwork that was stolen by the Nazis.

A Senate panel on Thursday advanced the bipartisan Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act. The legislation would eliminate legal barriers that stand in the way of Jewish families reclaiming art that ended up in museums and private collections following the Holocaust.

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Three months after actress Helen Mirren showed up on Capitol Hill to advocate for the HEAR Act, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the legislation, which now goes to the floor for a final vote.

The HEAR Act has garnered wide support from both sides of the aisle, including from Sens. John CornynJohn CornynOvernight Healthcare: CBO predicts 22M would lose coverage under Senate ObamaCare replacement Rand Paul opens door to backing healthcare bill on key hurdle Cornyn: Knowing health plan ahead of vote is 'luxury we don't have' MORE (R-Texas), Ted CruzTed CruzCruz offers bill to weaken labor board's power Overnight Finance: GOP offers measure to repeal arbitration rule | Feds fine Exxon M for Russian sanctions violations | Senate panel sticks with 2017 funding levels for budget | Trump tax nominee advances | Trump unveils first reg agenda The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Texas), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerLawmakers send McCain well wishes after cancer diagnosis OPINION | GOP's 7-year ObamaCare blood oath ends in failure Dems tout failure of GOP healthcare bill MORE (D-N.Y.), and Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalDem leaders amp up calls for bipartisan ObamaCare fixes Three Dem senators call for 'immediate review' of Kushner's security clearance AT&T, Time Warner hit bumps on way to merger MORE (D-Conn.).

For Jewish families, this art is a reminder of their heritage, said Cruz, which is “far more valuable than whatever economic value the works of art or cultural artifacts might have today. Indeed, that is priceless.” 

“It is long past time to return the ill-gotten gains of one of history’s vilest villains,” said Blumenthal.