Restitution of Van Brekelenkam painting from the National Art Collection

The Hague, 24 January 2013 - The Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Restitution Applications for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War has advised Minister Jet Bussemaker of Education, Culture and Science to return a painting that the Jewish banker Adolf Arnhold sold when fleeing from the Nazis. The Minister has adopted this recommendation.

The case, on which the Committee issued a recommendation on 17 December 2012, concerns the painting Interior with card players (NK 2924) by painter Q.G. van Brekelenkam. The investigation has shown that Jewish-German banker Adolf Arnhold ordered the sale of this artwork at the end of 1938. At that time, Arnhold was on the run from the Nazis, while the painting was in the Netherlands. The applicants made a plausible case that Arnhold had the painting sold for the benefit of his entire family, some of whom were still in Nazi Germany and others who were on the run. The Committee rules that the sale of the painting was involuntary, because it took place within the context of the flight of Arnhold and his family members. The Committee therefore advised the Minister to return the painting to the company into which the Arnhold family has combined its claims for restitution.

In 2011, the Restitutions Committee already advised in the same case to reject a claim to three other paintings from the National Art Collection, the reason being that it had become insufficiently clear that the paintings had been owned by Arnhold.

Two claims to the same work
The painting by Van Brekelenkam is also part of a claim to 189 artworks from art dealership Firma D. Katz of Dieren. Because of this, the two claims were investigated and handled in conjunction with each other. It was announced in a separate press release today that the recommendation is to reject the Katz-claim for the most part, which the Minister has adopted.

The Restitutions Committee
The Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Restitution Applications for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War advises on claims to art looted as a consequence of the Nazi regime. Since its establishment in 2002, it has issued 117 recommendations and 137 claims have been presented to it. The Restitutions Committee has been chaired by Willibrord Davids since 1 January 2009. 

Relevant recommendations: 
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