Israel to return 'hundreds of thousands' of cultural treasures to Holocaust heirs

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Hundreds of thousands of books and many thousand Judaica items, which belonged to Holocaust victims and were distributed to public and private bodies in Israel in the 1950s, may now be reclaimed and returned to their heirs.

The state-owned Company for Locating and Retrieving Assets of Holocaust Victims intends to round up the cultural treasures and attempt to restore them to their rightful claimants.

It has recently transpired that more than 5,000 Judaica items, hundreds of works of art and about half a million books, including scriptures and valuable tomes that were owned by Holocaust victims, are in Israel.

Some of these items are being held by official state institutions such as the Israel National Museum and the Jewish National and University Library, and the rest are held by private bodies like museums and synagogues throughout the country.

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