THE HAGUE, 2 June 2020 – The Restitutions Committee has advised the Minister of Education, Culture and Science to reject the application for restitution of the painting View in the Woods in the Winter by Johann Bernard Klombeck and Eugène Joseph Verboeckhoven. The Minister has accepted this advice.
The painting concerned has been in the possession of the Dutch State since 1950 and is referred to on the Museum Acquisitions since 1933 website. This website contains images of works of art that are suspected of having been stolen, confiscated or sold under duress between 1933 and 1945. A grandson of an art collector in The Hague asked the Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) to restitute the painting. The painting supposedly came from the possessions of this art collector, who is known to have lost possession of many artworks during the Second World War.
The Minister asked the Restitutions Committee to advise her about this restitution application. In this regard the Restitutions Committee asked the Restitution Expertise Centre of the NIOD to conduct an investigation into the facts. It emerged from this investigation that the painting concerned never belonged to the collection of the art collector from The Hague. The Committee has therefore advised the Minister of OCW to reject the restitution application. It has furthermore emerged from the Restitution Expertise Centre’s investigation that during the 1921-1948 period the painting was in the possession of a woman in Soestdijk, so there is no longer any reason to label the painting’s provenance as suspect.
The full text of the recommendation is on this website through the link on the bottom of this page.
About the Restitutions Committee
The Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Restitution Applications for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War advises about claims to items of cultural value lost during the Nazi period, also referred to as looted art. Since the Restitutions Committee was established in 2002 it has issued 162 recommendations and opinions and has had 183 claims submitted to it. The Committee is chaired by Fred Hammerstein.
Relevant recommendation: Painting View in the Woods in the Winter