Step 1 – Verify who owns the artwork whose restitution is being requested
Before you take any action to find a solution, you need to establish who actually owns the artwork whose restitution is being requested. If an artwork has been in the museum’s collection for decades, it might for instance be the property of the Dutch State, a local authority or a province. So first of all check carefully who currently owns the artwork and whether you are authorized to submit a restitution application to the Committee.
If the artwork concerned is in the Dutch National Art Collection, you can contact the RCE.
Step 2 – Other Collections? Reach agreement with the applicant
The binding opinion procedure is voluntary. This means that the party applying for restitution and you, as owner or the owner’s authorized representative, must decide to involve the Restitutions Committee. Both parties must state beforehand that they accept the opinion to be issued by the Restitutions Committee as binding and that they accept the Regulations. It is therefore important to reach agreement about this.
Together with the other party, you request the Restitutions Committee for an investigation and a binding opinion. To that end, you send the Restitutions Committee a letter signed by you as the owner of the claimed artwork (or as the owner’s authorized representative) and by the representative of the party applying for restitution. Both parties can also submit separate requests by means of two separate letters.