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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cruz and Cornyn Finally Agree on Something: Artwork Stolen By Nazis Should Be Returned

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 7:15 AM

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The acrimony between Ted Cruz and pretty much anyone else in the United States Congress reached a new low this year as the junior senator from Texas’ waged his long, mean and ultimately losing fight for the GOP presidential nomination.

And while Cruz is known for pissing off his colleagues (who have variously called him “wacko bird,” “creepy,” and perhaps most famously a “miserable son of a bitch”), his relationship with Texas’ senior senator and minority whip John Cornyn has been particularly frosty. Which is why it’s worth noting that the two have finally agreed on something and have decided to file legislation over it: the return of artwork stolen by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Cruz and Cornyn, joined by two colleagues from the other side of the aisle, have co-sponsored the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act, which went before a Senate subcommittee hearing Tuesday. Cruz’s comments before the bill went up for discussion yesterday were characteristically stagey, according to the Texas Tribune: “The quest to reunite the families of Holocaust victims with their stolen heritage is ultimately a quest to help them reclaim a tangible link to a happier time in their family’s history – a time before the darkness of the Holocaust.” Announcing his support for the bill earlier this year, Cornyn said in a prepared statement: “While nothing can right the wrongs of the Holocaust, ensuring that victims and their families have the opportunity to recover art confiscated by the Nazis is one modest way to help provide closure for those who endured this dark period in history.”

The impossible-to-argue-with legislation would allow families who discover artwork that was stolen from them during the Holocaust at least six years to sue for recovery, essentially bypassing statutes of limitation across the country that have for decades prevented such litigation. Experts and lawmakers who testified at the hearing said several collections have been identified that were taken by the Nazis but somehow wound up in museums and private galleries.

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