Restitutions Committee issues recommendations concerning four claims to looted art

THE HAGUE - The Restitutions Committee has advised the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science on four claims to a total of 23 works of art from the Dutch National Art Collection. The Committee recommends the restitution of five works of art to the former owners’ heirs. The State Secretary has adopted the recommendations.

On 19 December 2011, the Committee issued a positive recommendation on an application for the restitution of two paintings. The Committee concluded that they were originally owned by French art dealer and politician Edouard Jonas and seized in Bordeaux in 1940 in the name of Hermann Göring. In 1944, the works were part of a swap in which Göring relinquished them to art dealer Alois Miedl in exchange for a work by Vermeer, which later turned out to be a forgery by Han van Meegeren. After the war, the two paintings ended up in the Netherlands Art Property Collection. The Committee advised returning the paintings to Jonas's heirs. [RC 1.117]

On 21 November 2011, the Committee issued a negative recommendation on three works of art that were said to have been owned by Jewish banker Adolf Arnhold. The Committee concluded that it was not proven with a high degree of probability that the works were originally owned by Arnhold, and as such it advised the State Secretary to reject the claim. [RC 1.61-A]

The Committee issued a (partially) positive recommendation in a third case, dated 14 November 2011. In it, the Committee concluded that three ceramic objects were indeed owned by Jewish antiques dealer Aron Salomon Hiegentlich. It also concluded that Hiegentlich lost possession of these objects involuntarily during the war. The Committee advised rejecting the part of the claim to a fourth ceramic object, because it transpired that Hiegentlich had not owned this object. Based on these conclusions, the Committee advised returning three of the four claimed objects to Hiegentlich's family. [RC 1.116]

In the fourth recommendation, dated 13 October 2011, the Committee advised rejecting a claim to fourteen works of art that had come into the possession of German art dealer Alois Miedl in 1940 through Jewish art dealer De Haan. The Committee concluded that it was not proven with a high degree of probability that the works were originally owned by De Haan. There were no indications either that Miedl directly coerced or pressured De Haan during the transactions. [RC 1.106]

The Restitutions Committee
Since January 2002, the Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Restitution Applications for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War has issued 107 recommendations and 130 claims have been presented to it. The Committee is chaired by Willibrord Davids.

More information
For more information, please contact Evelien Campfens (secretary/rapporteur) on +31 (0)70 376 59 92.

Relevant recommendations: