Nazi gold talks inspire search for looted works of art

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The Independent Online
The London talks on Nazi gold, hosted by Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary, ended yesterday with a pledge for a follow-up meeting. Stuart Eizenstat, US Under-Secretary of State, announced plans to examine the question of Nazi-looted art at a gathering in Washington next year .

But, he told 240 delegates from more than 40 countries, time was of the essence for the surviving victims of Nazism: "We must not enter a new millennium, when the issues of today will begin to be ancient history, without completing the work before us." A website is to be established for posting and updating archive material.

Several promises of assistance were made at the conference: Austria and Germany said they would seek missing Reichsbank records, and Degussa, the German company which smelted stolen goods for the Nazis, has agreed to allow World Jewish Congress officials to have access to its files.

More countries said they would contribute to the fund for Nazi victims launched by Mr Cook, who proposed that all 15 nations due to receive the last remaining gold recaptured from the Nazis under final World War Two settlements should donate it to help Holocaust victims, and that other countries might wish to help.