The Restitutions Committee’s tasks include advising the Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) about applications for the restitution of works of art in the Dutch National Art Collection (Decree Establishing the Restitutions Committee, article 2 paragraph 1).

The Restitutions Committee advices about such applications on the basis of the yardsticks of reasonableness and fairness. In regard to applications submitted on or after 30 June 2015, this also applies to artworks in the Netherlands Art Property Collection (NK works).

Among other things the Committee investigates who the original owner of the claimed artwork was and how this owner lost possession of the work during the Second World War. This, because one of the requirements for restitution is that it must be highly likely that the supposed original owner was indeed the owner and that he or she lost possession of the artwork involuntarily as a result of circumstances directly related to the Nazi regime.

The connection between the applicant and the original owner is also investigated. Only rightful claimants to the assets of the original owner are entitled to claim restitution.

If these requirements are met, the Restitutions Committee considers the interest of the applicant in the return of the work and the interest of the Dutch State in retaining it. This weighing up of the interests is conducted in accordance with article 3 of the regulations for the binding opinion procedure.

There is more information about this in section 2.4 of the 2012 Annual Report.

Here you can read more about the Dutch National Art Collection, submitting a restitution application, and the procedure that applies.