During the research it came to light that it remains unclear for many of the works of art concerned whether they were justly recuperated to the Netherlands at the time. In some cases this concerns works of art that 'travelled around' during the war years and initially entered the hands of the German occupiers in another country, then left German ownership and ended up in Dutch hands only to be subsequently sold to Germany again. When claims on such artefacts are made by (the heirs of) foreign private individuals, these are dealt with in the same way as those by (the heirs of) former Dutch owners. If such mutually conflicting claims are made on such a work of art, it is the committee’s opinion that the first loss of property should generally prevail. However, the Restitutions Committee should be given room to consider the relative weight of such contradictory claims, depending on the specific circumstances.
Furthermore, there are works of art for which this research has been unable to unearth the reason why they were recuperated to the Netherlands, and for which no clear indications have emerged as to their former individual owners. Such vagueness is partly due to the fact that more than half a century has passed and the motives to assign any individual artefact to the Netherlands have not always been clearly stated, and there is no one directly involved left to provide information. In such cases there is no basis without new data emerging for further action.
In the case that another country should submit a claim to works of art in the NK collection, this claim will have to be dealt with in bilateral consultations with the government of the country concerned.
Claims from foreign private individuals on works of art possibly unjustly recuperated to the Netherlands should be dealt with conform the claims of (the heirs) of owners who lost works of art within the Netherlands.
The committee recommends that possible claims from another country on works of art in the NK collection should not be submitted to the Restitutions Committee, but should be dealt with in bilateral consultations with the government of the country concerned.