In letters dated 4 December 2006 and 7 December 2007 the ‘Erbgemeinschaft nach Adolf Arnhold ‘ (hereafter referred to as: the applicants) requested the return of four paintings that were said to have been the property of Adolf Arnhold. After the war, the works in question became part of the so-called NK collection administered by the Dutch state. The applicants were represented in this procedure by Dr S. Rudolph, lawyer in Dresden, Germany.
The current partial advice (RC 1.61.A) concerns three paintings: P. de Neyn, Farmhouse near a waterway (NK 1747), A. van Ostade, A scholar (NK 1532) and D. Teniers II, Resting herdsman with cattle near a tavern (NK 1750). An unusual situation has arisen in that in 2009, NK 1747 was stolen from the Stadsmuseum in IJsselstein, where it had been on loan from the Dutch state. In light of the following, it is not necessary to discuss this loss at any length.
Following the above requests for advice, the Committee instigated a fact-finding investigation. The preliminary results of this fact-finding investigation in the context of the original claim (NK 1747, NK 2924) were recorded in a draft report dated 7 January 2008. The Committee sent this draft report to the Minister and to the applicants, to which the Minister replied in an email dated 7 February 2008 and the applicants in a letter dated 20 March 2008. The preliminary results of the investigation of the supplementary claim (NK 1532, NK 1750) were combined with the previous investigation results and reactions in a draft report dated 6 December 2010. The report was sent to the applicants for comment. They responded to the contents of the report in a letter dated 29 April 2011. At their request, the Committee then gave the applicants the opportunity to conduct additional investigations into the provenance of the claimed works of art. In a letter dated 1 July 2011, the applicants were also informed about a number of additional investigation details established by the Committee. On 14 October 2011, the applicants reported to the Committee that no new information had emerged from the provenance investigation they had instigated.
Three of the four claimed paintings, including NK 2924, are also part of an application for restitution concerning art dealership Firma D. Katz of Dieren (RC 1.90-B). Partly in connection with this and because of the ongoing investigation, the Committee has decided to defer its recommendation regarding NK 2924 and to include the claim to this work in file number RC 1.61-B.
The facts underpinning the present recommendation, which concerns the three other works, are described in the separate investigatory report RC 1.61-A, which was adopted on 21 November 2011. The applicants’ response of 29 April 2011 is appended to this report.