Portrait of Don Luis de Requessens y Zuñiga
Advice concerning the application for restitution of NK 3409
By letter of 22 July 2002 the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science asked the Committee for advice about the decision to be taken concerning the application filed on 21 June 2002 by Mr K.O.N. on behalf of the heirs of Mr J.H. Gosschalk for restitution of “Don Luis de Requessens y Zuñiga”, a painting by an anonymous artist (NK 3409).
In connection with the application for restitution, the Cultural Heritage Ownership Inspectorate (Inspectie Cultuurbezit) carried out an investigation into the facts. The findings of the investigation were included in a historical report drawn up by the Origins Unknown agency (Bureau Herkomst Gezocht), dated 12 September 2002, which was sent to the applicant. According to the Committee, no further investigations are required.
The Committee has drawn up its opinion with due regard for the relevant lines of policy issued by the Ekkart Committee and the government.
The Committee asked itself whether it is acceptable that an opinion to be issued is influenced by its potential consequences for decisions in other cases. The Committee resolved that such influence cannot be accepted, save cases where special circumstances apply, since allowing such influence would be impossible to justify to the applicant concerned.
The Committee then asked itself how to deal with the circumstance that certain facts can no longer be traced, that certain data has been lost or has not been retrieved, or that evidence can no longer be otherwise compiled. On this issue the Committee believes that, if the problems that have arisen can be attributed at least in part to the lapse of time, the associated risk should be borne by the government, save cases where exceptional circumstances apply.
Finally, the Committee believes that insights and circumstances which, according to generally accepted views, have evidently changed since the Second World War should be granted the status of new facts.
The research report mentioned above indicates that “Don Luis de Requessens y Zuñiga” (NK 3409) was owned by Mr J.H. Gosschalk.
Mr J.H. Gosschalk involuntarily lost possession of the painting due to persecution by the Nazi regime.
Given that no previous application for the restitution of “Don Luis de Requessens y Zuñiga” (NK 3409) has been processed, this application for restitution is allowable.
Given that no evidence has been found to suggest that the sales proceeds were transferred to the owner at any point in time, restitution of the proceeds cannot be claimed.
In view of the above, the Committee advises the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science to return the painting “Don Luis de Requessens y Zuñiga” (NK 3409) to the heirs of Mr J.H. Gosschalk.
Adopted at the meeting of 28 October 2002.
J.M. Polak (Chairman)
B.J. Asscher (Vice Chairman)
E.J. van Straaten
H.M. Verrijn Stuart