Decision regarding eleven majolica plates
Decision of the Restitutions Committee with regard to the request from XX and the Municipality of Rotterdam for an opinion concerning the dispute about restitution of eleven majolica plates
1. In a letter of 14 January 2015 XX, residing in YY, ZZ, according to his statement acting also on behalf of the family members he mentioned, asked the Committee for an opinion about the application he had submitted to the Municipality of Rotterdam (hereinafter referred to as the Municipality) for restitution of eleven majolica plates. In a letter of 27 February 2015 L.F. Kruidenier made a similar request for an opinion from the Committee on behalf of the Municipality. The majolica plates belong to the city collection and are kept by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. In an email of 18 March 2015 the Minister of Education, Culture and Science (hereinafter referred to as the Minister) informed the Committee of her agreement to the dispute being handled by the Committee.
2. On the grounds of article 2 paragraph 2 of the Decree Establishing the Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Restitution Applications for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War of 16 November 2001 (hereinafter referred to as the Decree Establishing the Restitutions Committee), the Committee is tasked at the Minister’s request with issuing an opinion about disputes relating to the return of items of cultural value between the original owner who involuntarily lost possession as a result of circumstances directly linked to the Nazi regime, or his or her heirs, and the current owner, not being the State of the Netherlands.
3. In the context of the aforementioned task, on the grounds of article 4 paragraph 2 of the Decree Establishing the Restitutions Committee, the Committee adopted Regulations for the opinion procedure.
On the grounds of article 5 paragraph 3 of the Regulations, after the Minister has presented the dispute to the Committee, it will hear the dispute after the parties have stated in writing that they accept these Regulations and that will accept the opinion issued by the Committee as binding.
On the grounds of paragraph 4, if, after a request to that effect, the parties have not complied with the stipulation referred to in paragraph 3 within four weeks, the dispute will not be heard.
The Committee may extend the terms on the grounds of paragraph 5.
4. Together with its request for an opinion, the Municipality submitted a decision by the Mayor and the Executive Board of the Municipality (‘het college van Burgemeester en Wethouders’) of 3 February 2015 in which they stated that they accepted the Regulations and would accept the Committee’s opinion as binding.
5. In letters of 9 April 2015, 24 September 2015 and 17 December 2015, the Committee requested XX to state that he accepts the Regulations and will accept the Committee’s opinion as binding. In the last of these letters the Committee stated that if there was not compliance with this request by 31 January 2016 at the latest, in accordance with article 5 paragraph 4 of the Regulations it will feel compelled to decide not to hear the dispute. The Committee sent copies of these letters to the Municipality. The Committee has not received any response to the aforementioned letter of 17 December 2015.
6. Since there has not been compliance with the requirement that all parties state in writing that they accept the Regulations and will accept the Committee’s opinion as binding, the Committee will not hear the dispute.
7. In this regard the Committee notes the following. If XX does comply with the stipulations in article 5 paragraph 3 of the Regulations and if the Mayor and the Executive Board of the Municipality have not by then revoked their decision of 3 February 2015, the Committee will deal with the request.
The Committee will not handle the request from XX and the Municipality of Rotterdam for an opinion concerning the dispute about restitution of eleven majolica plates.
Adopted on 1 February 2016 by W.J.M. Davids (Chairman), J.T.M. Bank, R. Herrmann, P.J.N. van Os, E.J. van Straaten and H.M. Verrijn Stuart, and signed by the Chairman and the Secretary.
(W.J.M. Davids, Chairman) (R.A.M. Nachbahr, Secretary)