Three Paintings Returned to Heirs of Jewish Artist

THE HAGUE, 20 December 2017 - The Restitutions Committee has advised the Minister of Education, Culture and Science to restitute three paintings from the Dutch National Art Collection to the heirs of the original Jewish owner Joseph Henri Gosschalk. The Minister has accepted this recommendation.

In 2015 heirs of Gosschalk asked the Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) to restitute seven paintings from the Netherlands Art Property Collection. The Minister asked the Restitutions Committee to advise her with regard to this application.

The Committee has advised the Minister to restitute three of the seven paintings. They are Rocky Landscape with Figures by J. de Momper II (NK 2070), presently in the Bonnenfantenmuseum in Maastricht, Forest Pool with Hermaphroditus and Salmacis by M. van Wttenbrouck (NK 2532), presently in the Mauritshuis in The Hague and A Young Draughtsman Sitting at a Table by G. Schalcken (NK 2935), currently in the Noordbrabants Museum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

The original owner of the artworks, the Jewish artist Joseph Henri Gosschalk (1875-1952), collected old and modern art. During the course of the war he lost a part of his art collection. In 1943 Gosschalk was interned in Barneveld and subsequently Westerbork. Later he was deported to Theresienstad. He survived the war and died in 1952.

The Committee considers it plausible that Gosschalk lost possession of the three works during the war involuntarily. The Committee therefore advises the Minister of OCW to restitute the paintings to his heirs.

With regard to four other paintings, it is not sufficiently clear that they were in Gosschalk’s possession when the German invasion took place. The Committee therefore advised the Minister to reject the application for their restitution.

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 153 recommendations and opinions and has had 173claims submitted to it. The Committee is chaired by Fred Hammerstein.

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