Rijksmuseum to retain Riemenschneider sculptures

THE HAGUE, 17 January 2013 - The Restitutions Committee has advised the Minister for Education, Culture and Science to reject a claim to two Tilman Riemenschneider sculptures. The Minister has adopted this recommendation.

The recommendation concerns the two alabaster sculptures Annunciation (NK 124 and NK 125) by German artist Tilman Riemenschneider, one of the leading sculptors of the Late Gothic and Early Renaissance period. The 15th-century sculptures are among the 1,000 best pieces of the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The sculptures were originally part of the collection of German-Jewish banker and art collector Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild. Von Goldschmidt-Rothschild sold his art collection to the city of Frankfurt am Main in 1938 under the pressure of Nazi measures. However, the two claimed sculptures were not part of this transaction. The research by the Restitutions Committee revealed that Von Goldschmidt-Rothschild had already traded the two sculptures with Jewish banker and art collector Fritz Mannheimer of Amsterdam at an earlier date between 1934 and 1936. The Committee did not find any evidence to suggest that this transaction was involuntary. The Committee concluded that there was no question of involuntary loss of possession due to circumstances directly related to the Nazi regime and therefore advised the Minister to reject the application for restitution by the heirs of Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild.

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 117 recommendations and 137 claims have been presented to it. The Committee has been chaired by Willibrord Davids since 1 January 2009. Go to http://www.restitutiecommissie.nl/en/recommendations/recommendation_1110.html for the recommendation regarding the Von Goldschmidt-Rothschild restitution case (RC 1.110).

More information:

For more information, please contact Evelien Campfens (Director of the Restitutions Committee) on +31 (0)70 376 59 92.

Relevant recommendations: