Press release RC 1.97, 1.78, 1.81 AND 1.89-A

RESTITUTIONS COMMITTEE ISSUES FOUR RECOMMENDATIONS ON CLAIMS TO LOOTED ART

THE HAGUE - The Restitutions Committee has advised Minister Plasterk on four claims to a total of 33 works of art from the Dutch National Art Collection. The Committee recommends returning four of these works to the heirs of the former owners.

The Committee has concluded that Eduard Hollander, a Jewish lawyer from The Hague, was the original owner of a watercolour by artist W. Verschuur II. The Committee finds that Hollander lost possession of the watercolour during the war due to forced sale and deems it likely that he had to use the proceeds from the sale to escape persecution by the Nazis. Based on these findings, the Committee has advised the Minister for Education, Culture and Science to return the watercolour to Hollander's heirs.

In a second case, the Committee finds that Jewish economist and collector Wilhelm Mautner of Amsterdam was the original owner of two paintings: a copy after P. Brueghel II and a work by F. Timmermann. Mautner sold these paintings through an agent during the war. The Committee considers this sale to have been involuntary due to circumstances directly related to the Nazi regime and consequently advises the Minister to return the paintings to Mautner's heirs. The Committee recommends rejecting the claim to two other paintings in this case, because there is not enough evidence to prove that Mautner was the original owner.

The Committee recommends rejecting the claim in a third application for restitution, that of the heirs of Jewish art dealer Moritz Schönemann. According to the Committee, it has not been established that the three paintings were sold by Schönemann's art dealership during the occupation. 

In a fourth case, the heirs of Jewish art dealer Kurt Walter Bachstitz applied for the restitution of 25 works of art. The Committee recommends returning only the paintingRoman Capriccio by P. Cappelli. Bachstitz sold a large number of works of art to various buyers during the occupation, before fleeing to Switzerland in 1944. In the Committee's opinion, only the sale of Roman Capriccio in 1943 was forced.

The Restitutions Committee
Since January 2002, the Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Restitution Applications for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War has issued 83 recommendations and received 117 claims. Since 1 January 2009, the Committee has been under the chairmanship of Willibrord Davids.

More information
For more information, please contact Evelien Campfens, secretary/rapporteur of the Restitutions Committee, telephone +31 (0)70 376 59 92.

Relevant recommendations: