Dutch Museums Commit To Programme of Nazi Art Restitution

The Rijksmuseumis

The Rijksmuseumis in Amsterdam is among hundreds of public institutions assisting in the search for looted Nazi treasures stolen from Jewish owners. The museums in total have identified over 139 pieces of art in regional and national collections which were stolen. The hoard includes a valuable paintings by Matisse, Kandinsky as well as Dutch impressionist and Post Impressionist works.

The list that the Committee for Museum Acquisitions have published dates from 1933 onwards. It includes priceless items that are in the hands of 41 museums, including some world-famous institutions such as Stedelijk Museum, which have 11 “problematic” items, respectively.

The findings are the result of a four-year search, looking at art acquired by more than 400 institutions between 1933 and the present. A website has been set up to assist rightful heirs in making claims. The full list of the 139 artworks will be made available on a dedicated website from 16:00 on Tuesday, 29 October. Prospective owners, or their heirs, can then make a claim for the return of looted art from the Dutch Restitutions Committee.

The director of the Dutch Museum Association stated; “new information” had prompted them to look further back for paintings of questionable provenance. “We know that there were doubtful transactions concerning works acquired before 1940, after Kristallnacht,” said Siebe Weide. It is the second such review of art owned by Dutch museums and galleries. The first, which took place a decade ago, looked at works acquired between 1940 and 1948.

The full findings were to be published Tuesday on the Dutch-language website www.musealeverwervingen.nl.


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