German military leaders charged with war crimes at Nürnberg were charged with “destruction et pillage d’oeuvres d’art” based specifically on the violation of Article 56 of the Hague Convention of 1907 regarding war booty. Ironically, the Hague convention got its inspiration from disputes which arose from the Napoleonic Wars regarding Napoleon’s notorious plundering. Article 56 was seen as expressing the prohibition of any unilateral seizure of cultural property and putting an explicit limit to the prior practice of unlimited looting. Sadly, the biggest theft of all, the most massive art heist of all times, the looting and plundering of German treasures has drawn scant, if any, media attention.
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