The following starting points apply to the submission of a case for a binding opinion:

  • The current owner and the former owner or his/her legal successors decide on the basis of consultation to call upon the Committee. 
  • The parties agree to accept the opinion to be issued by the Committee as binding. 
  • The parties submit their request for an opinion to the Minister of OCW in writing through the Restitutions Committee. This can be done by sending a letter to the Restitutions Committee that is signed by the owner of the claimed work of art (or the owner’s authorized representative) and the representative of the party claiming the work of art. A request can also be submitted by the two parties sending two separate letters (see below for examples). 

The letter or letters must clearly state the following : 

  • Which artwork is concerned? 
  • Where is the artwork (which museum/which collection)? 
  • Who are the parties? This concerns the current owner (for example a foundation or a provincial/local authority) on the one hand and the party claiming the work of art on the grounds of former ownership on the other. 
  • Who are the representatives of the two parties and what are their contact details? A museum director could be the authorized representative of the current owner, for instance, with a representative of the family of the former owner on the other side. 

The following documentation must be enclosed with the request:

  • On the part of the representative of the current owner: a power of attorney from the owner of the claimed artwork or a formal document showing that the representative has power of disposal. 
  • On the part of the former owner’s legal successors: a notarial certificate of inheritance, or documents showing that the applicants are rightful claimants with regard to the property of the former owner.

After the Committee has received the joint request from the parties with the enclosures, the Committee asks the Minister of OCW for consent to issue an opinion.

There is more information about the procedure in binding opinion cases on this page.

You can download sample letters using the following links:

Sample letter where the parties submit the case jointly

Sample letter where each party submits the case separately