Hungary has introduced new, temporary measures affecting the restitution of artworks held in public collections, replacing the rules introduced in 2013, daily Népszava said, citing the official gazette Magyar Kozlony. The restitution measures introduced in 2013 stated that if the state cannot reasonably prove its ownership of an art object, then the object must be returned to the person whose proof of ownership carries the greatest credibility. After the state surrenders its rights, the person making a claim submits proof of ownership.
Under the temporary measures introduced on Wednesday, the order of actions to be taken has been changed and the National Asset Manager first assesses if the claimant’s ownership can be reasonably proven. Even if this is the case, however, the head of the prime minister’s office can still decide to place an artwork under protected status, which means it cannot be taken out of the country, the paper said.