German Museum Loses Attempt to Reclaim Ashur Artifact From Estate
- "An ancient gold tablet unearthed in a 1913 dig in modern-day Iraq that mysteriously ended up in the
possession of a Holocaust survivor will remain in his estate, a surrogate has ruled, rather than be
returned to a German museum.
In a ruling that reads like a script for an Indiana Jones movie, Nassau County, N.Y., Surrogate John
B. Riordan (See Profile) held that the Berlin museum, where the tablet had been kept for 19 years
before its sudden disappearance at the end of World War II, could not stake a claim to the artifact
as it had not acted promptly to recover it.
"The court finds that the museum's lack of due diligence was unreasonable," Surrogate Riordan wrote
in Matter of Flamenbaum, File No. 328416, in holding that the museum's claim was barred by the
doctrine of laches..."
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