Once again the Foreign Cultural Exchange Immunity Clarification Act is moving with haste. The Act was first adopted by the U.S. House of Representative in 2012. It was reintroduced by three original sponsors along with a new co-sponsor.
Judiciary Committee member Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) introduced H.R. 4292 on March 25 along with co-sponsors Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TX). Their purpose is to amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) in order to encourage foreign lending of art to the U.S. The bill proposes that artwork of cultural significance imported for purposes of temporary exhibition by a cultural institution, and which is in the national interest, will not be considered "commercial activity." The FSIA protects foreign states from lawsuits, unless the actions are classified as "commercial activity."
Just as with S. 2212, HR 4292 includes the "Nazi exception,"
Nazi-era claims.--[Jurisdictional immunity] shall not apply in any case ... in which rights in property taken in violation of international law are in issue ... and the action is based upon a claim that such work was taken in connection with the acts of a covered government during the covered period [of January 30, 1933 through May 8, 1945].
The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee which quickly held a markup of the legislation, without a hearing, and approved the bill on April 2. The measure will now be sent to the Full House for consideration.
The co-sponsors of HR 4292 are:
Steve Chabot R-OH
John Conyers D-MI
Bob Goodlatte R-VA
Steve Cohen D-TN
The House Judiciary Committee members are:
For the full text of the law, please visit:
For the Judiciary Committee's press release, please visit: