UK High Court plugs loophole on Marbles

LONDON (Reuters) – A court ruled yesterday that the British Museum could not return four artworks looted by the Nazis. This closed an avenue that may have helped Greece get back the Elgin, or Parthenon Marbles from Britain. Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith had asked the High Court to establish whether the British Museum had a moral duty to return property obtained improperly. The museum wants to return four Old Master drawings stolen by the Nazis from Jewish collector Arthur Feldmann in 1939, but British law prevents it disposing of anything in its collection. Judge Andrew Morritt found that no moral obligation could override the British Museum Act. A museum statement yesterday stressed that «the British Museum Trustees do not accept that there is a moral claim to the Parthenon sculptures, nor to any objects in the collection other than the Feldmann drawings.»