Nazi art bill signed into law in New York State

Originally published in The Island 360 on October 07, 2022.

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed the Nazi Art Bill into law at a special ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.

The bill, S.117A, by state Sen. Anna M. Kaplan (D-North Hills) and Assemblymember Charles D. Lavine (D-Glen Cove), requires museums to post a notice or placard alongside the display of any art stolen during the Nazi era in Europe acknowledging the piece’s history and provenance.

The bill was signed by Hochul along with the Holocaust Education Law also sponsored by Kaplan.

Kaplan said, “During the Holocaust, some 600,000 paintings were stolen from Jewish people not only for their value, but to wipe our culture and identity off the face of the Earth. Today, artwork previously stolen by the Nazis can be found hanging in museums around New York with no recognition of the dark paths they traveled there. With the history of the Holocaust being so important to pass on to the next generation, it’s vital that we be transparent and ensure that anyone viewing artwork stolen by the Nazis understand where it came from and its role in history.”

Lavine said, “80 years later we are still forced to confront the horrors of the Holocaust. Too many people remain ignorant of the indiscriminate wholesale murder of more than six million Jews by the Nazis during World War II, plus the countless examples of humiliation and, in cases such as this, blatant profiteering. This law is indicative of how we must continue to fight hate through education.”