Helen Mirren: Congress should help return Nazi-stolen art

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In the movie “Woman in Gold,” Helen Mirren plays a Jewish woman who fights for the return of her family’s long-lost art collection that was stolen by the Nazis.

On Tuesday, Mirren took the battle off the screen to Capitol Hill.

{mosads}She told lawmakers they have a “moral imperative” to help reunite Jewish families with Holocaust-stained art that has made its way into museums and private collections around the world.

“I think we can all agree that the right thing to do in every case is to return the art to its rightful owners,” Mirren testified Tuesday during a Senate hearing.

“Art is a reflection of memories that are shared across familia and cultural lines,” she said. “When the Jewish people were dispossessed of their art, they lost, they lost their heritage. Memories were taken along with the art, they have no memories. It’s like having no family. 

“And that is why art restitution is so imperative,” she continued.

“It gives Jewish people and other victims of Nazi terror the opportunity to reclaim their history, their culture, their memories and most importantly, their families,” Mirren said.

The Senate hearing is part of a bipartisan effort by John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to help Jewish families recover stolen art.

The four senators are pushing the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act, which would break down legal barriers Jewish families often face when attempting to recover the stolen art.

Schumer called it “a drop of justice in what was an ocean of injustice.”

Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) will expedite the legislation through the committee.

Schumer called it “a drop of justice in what was an ocean of injustice.”

“Seven decades is far too long to wait for justice,” Cruz said.

Tags Charles Grassley Charles Schumer John Cornyn Richard Blumenthal Ted Cruz

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