Meeting of Five European Committees / Symposium in the Peace Palace in The Hague (26/27 November 2012)


The Hague, 3 December 2012

THE HAGUE – Last week the Dutch Restitutions Committee organised two days in the Peace Palace in The Hague. The first day, five European art restitution committees agreed to develop further plans for a permanent working group. The second day aspects of international cooperation in dispute resolution in the field were discussed during the symposium ‘Fair and just solutions?’, which brought together more than 200 experts from all over the world.

On Monday 26 November five European panels working on Nazi-looted art claims, set up by the governments of Austria, the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands, gathered in the Peace Palace in The Hague. This was the first meeting of its kind and was organised by the Dutch Restitutions Committee. The committees discussed common issues and possibilities for future cooperation. On this last point the committees agreed to elaborate the chair’s proposal to install a permanent working group as a platform for sharing ideas and information. The US Special Envoy for Holocaust Matters Douglas Davidson was present as an observer.

Symposium on International Collaboration on Claims for Nazi-Looted Art

On Tuesday 27 November, to mark its tenth anniversary, the Dutch Restitutions Committee staged an international symposium on claims for Nazi-looted art in the Peace Palace in The Hague. The symposium was opened by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Jet Bussemaker, and experts from all over the world focused attention on the question of how to arrive at fair and just solutions in claims to Nazi-looted art.

During the symposium Willibrord Davids, chairman of  the Dutch Restitutions Committee, welcomed the delegations from four other European looted-art committees and the Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues from the United States. Prominent academics, lawyers, (art) history experts, art dealers and representatives of museums, auction houses and interest groups explored the question as to what a fair solution is in cases of disputes about Nazi-looted art, and which form of dispute resolution is best – regular courts or an alternative form. Future developments, including a possible period of limitation, the place of Nazi-looted art in the issue of restitution in general and the question as to whether there is a need for greater international collaboration were important discussion points.

For an impression of the day, see the attached documents and pictures.

The five delegations assembled at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Photo: Sander Stoepker)The five delegations assembled at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Photo: Sander Stoepker)

For more information, please contact Evelien Campfens, director of the Dutch Restitutions Committee: (+31 70 376 5993)

For further information on the other committees please contact:

The five delegations assembled at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Photo: Sander Stoepker)