The government "would like to enable the return" of art stolen during the Nazi era, culture minister David Lammy has said.
Legal restrictions prevented the return of the Beneventan Missal
In recent years, some items that ended up in UK collections have not been returned to their owners because of legal restrictions.
Now the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is asking the public whether the law should be changed.
But it said it was "not possible to say" when new laws will be introduced.
The public consultation was prompted by an independent panel that decides claims about art plundered during the Nazi era.
The Spoliation Advisory Committee, established in 2000, has so far ruled on five claims concerning looted art being held in UK collections.
In two cases, they decided objects should be returned to their owners but subsequently discovered that the law prevented such an action.
Last year, the panel recommended that the law should be changed.
Announcing the public consultation, Mr Lammy said: "The government remains committed to doing all it can to correct some of the terrible wrongs that were committed during the Nazi era.
"The Spoliation Advisory Panel has helped bring many of these injustices to light and has proposed fair and equitable solutions throughout.
"We would now like to go one step further by enabling the return of items to the heirs of the original owners where this seems appropriate."
Members of the public who wish to express their views on the issue can write to the DCMS until 10 November.