Binding Opinion about ‘Moses’, a Sculpture Attributed to Alessandro Vittoria

The Hague, 31 May 2018 – The Restitutions Committee has issued a binding opinion about the application for restitution of ‘Moses’, a sculpture attributed to Alessandro Vittoria and currently in the possession of Museum De Fundatie in Zwolle. The Committee has advised the museum to restitute the bronze figure to the heirs of Emma Budge.

The sculpture was acquired during the 1948-1952 period by Dirk Hannema, the founder of Museum De Fundatie. He obtained the work from his cousin Charles Hubert ridder de Stuers. Hannema donated the sculpture to the museum in 1964.

Previously the figure had been part of the art collection of Emma Budge, who was Jewish and from Hamburg. In response to the rise of the Nazi regime, starting in 1933 she made changes to her will in which she spelled out what should happen to her art collection after her death. Emma Budge died in 1937. That same year the sculpture was sold, together with hundreds of other artworks from the estate, at the Graupe auction house in Berlin. The Committee has concluded that the loss of possession of the sculpture by Budge's estate should be designated as involuntary, caused by circumstances directly related to the Nazi regime, and has advised the museum to restitute the work to the heirs. The Committee does not consider it plausible that the heirs had free disposal of the proceeds.

About the Restitutions Committee  

The Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Restitution Applications for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War advises about claims to items of cultural value lost during the Nazi period, also referred to as looted art. Since the Restitutions Committee was established in 2002 it has issued 155 recommendations and opinions and has had 174 claims submitted to it. For more information about the Committee see its annual reports on this website.

For more information about the binding opinion please contact the Committee’s secretariat on +31 (0) 70 376 59 92, info@restitutiecommissie.nl.

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