Actress Helen Mirren testified Tuesday at a joint Senate hearing in support of a bill that would make it easier for rightful owners to recover works of art that were looted during the Holocaust.
Mirren starred in the 2015 movie "Woman in Gold," in which she played a woman trying to reclaim her family's priceless art years after it was taken by the Nazis.
"Art lost in the Holocaust is not just important for its aesthetic and cultural value, and restitution is more … than reclaiming a material good, and this is what I learned by playing Maria Altmann," Mirren told a joint hearing held by two subcommittees of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act, introduced into the Senate, proposes a standard six-year statute of limitations to make it easier for families to "recover artwork or other cultural property unlawfully lost because of persecution during the Nazi era." The six-year clock would begin after the discovery of the identity and location of stolen art, information indicating a claimant has a claim to an item.
Mirren testified that she hoped the bill would give affected families their day in court.
"Art restitution ... gives Jewish people and other victims of the Nazi terror the opportunity to reclaim their history, their culture, their memories, and most importantly their families," said Mirren.