Spring naar content
Recommendation regarding Lisser & Rosenkranz (B)

Lisser & Rosenkranz (B)

Report number: RC 1.195-B

Advice type: NK collection

Advice date: 13 June 2022

Period of loss of ownership: 1933-1940

Original owner: Private individual

Location of loss of ownership: The Netherlands

NK 1408 – Christ on the Cross with Mary, Mary Magdalena and Johannes the Evangelist (photo: RCE)

  • NK 1408 - Christus aan het kruis met Maria, Maria Magdalena en Johannes de Evangelist


On 15 December 2021 the Minister of Education, Culture and Science (hereinafter referred to as the Minister) asked the Restitutions Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) to issue advice concerning the application of 18 November 2021 for the restitution of 26 paintings from the Netherlands Art Property Collection (hereinafter referred to as the NK Collection). The case is registered at the Committee as RC 1.195-B. The application for restitution of these artworks was submitted by XX also on behalf of six other heirs (hereinafter referred to as the Applicants). Since their return to the Netherlands after the Second World War, the artworks have been part of the NK Collection. Three of them (NK 1408, NK 1409 and NK 1546) are currently in the depot (Collectie Centrum Nederland, CCNL) of the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency (hereinafter referred to as the RCE) in Amersfoort. The RCE has loaned the remaining 23 works to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. An overview of the artworks concerned, their NK number and their location is appended to this advice.
In this application the Minister is represented by YY, movable heritage and Dutch National Art Collection consultant with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands.

1. The Application

In a letter dated 15 December 2021 the Minister asked the Committee for advice. This was prompted by the restitution application from XX, one of the heirs of Franz Koenigs, to the Minister in a letter of 18 November 2021.

In earlier cases relating to the artworks concerned (RC 1.6 and RC 4.123), the Committee advised rejection of the restitution applications submitted on behalf of Koenigs’s heirs. The Minister adopted these recommendations.

2. Requirements for the Substantive Handling of a Restitution Application (Section 1 of the Assessment Framework)

The Committee first of all investigated whether the restitution application can be substantively handled. The Committee established that:

a. this is not a case about which the Council for the Restoration of Rights or another court has issued a substantive ruling;
b. this is not a case about which legal proceedings have been instituted before a court;
c. this is not a case concerning an item of cultural value regarding which the Applicants or their legal predecessors have expressly waived their rights or the Applicants or their legal predecessors have already reached a settlement;
d. this is not a case about which the Restitutions Committee has already issued a recommendation or binding ruling;
e. it is not a requirement for all those entitled to have submitted the restitution application because the case concerns an item of cultural value that is held by the Dutch State.

In view of section 1 of the assessment framework, this means that the Committee handles the application substantively.

3. Facts

The Applicants are all heirs of Franz Wilhelm Koenigs (1881-1941), who was one of the shareholders of the limited company N.V. Bankierskantoor Lisser & Rosenkranz (hereinafter also referred to as L&R) of Amsterdam.
The Applicant submitted an attendance list of the general meeting of L&R shareholders held on 2 April 1940. It reveals that F.W. Koenigs held 42 of the 1,787 shares issued at the time. L&R was liquidated on 2 April 1940. The liquidation ended on 30 September 1962. Franz Koenigs died on 6 May 1941.

L&R was a legal entity that ran a banking business and was therefore not a legal entity that maintained an art collection or operated an art gallery.

In its recommendation Koenigs (II) RC 4.123, the Committee concluded, among other things, that L&R had obtained fiduciary ownership of the claimed artworks from Franz Koenigs as security for fulfilment of Koenigs’s obligations in respect of L&R arising from the last agreement between Koenigs and L&R, which was entered into on 1 June 1935.

As a result of the liquidation of L&R on 2 April 1940, Koenigs’s obligations became fulfillable upon request. On that same day, when he transferred the art collection to L&R in fiduciary ownership, he actually also handed it over to L&R. Following that, L&R started to convert the artworks into cash.

4. The Applicants’ Point of View

The application concerns 26 paintings that were in the possession of N.V. Bankierskantoor Lisser & Rosenkranz, that during the occupation came into the possession of the Nazi regime, and that are now in the NK Collection (part of the Dutch National Art Collection). The Applicants point out that Franz Koenigs transferred the full and unencumbered ownership of his collection of drawings and paintings to N.V. Bankierskantoor Lisser & Rosenkranz in liquidation in order to be discharged from his debt. Under pressure from an imminent invasion, immediately before the occupation of 10 May 1940 and shortly afterwards, the bank then sold part of the Koenigs Collection in circumstances directly related to the Nazi regime. In the second instance, the Applicants requested the Committee to show that the transfer of the ownership was in fact null and void. That further viewpoint of the Applicants comes down to a new request to reconsider case number RC 4.123. As regards the present advice, the Committee will therefore limit itself to the application submitted on 18 November 2021.

5. Substantive Assessment of the Application

Ownership Requirements (Assessment Framework Section 2)

The Committee’s first step in the substantive handling of the application is to assess whether it is highly likely that the Applicants or their legal successors are heirs of the original owner pursuant to inheritance law. To this end the Committee finds as follows:

  • Initially the artworks were in the fiduciary ownership of L&R (i.e. as security for fulfilment of obligations) and from 2 April 1940 they were in the full and free ownership of L&R.
  • There is no legal or other basis for concluding that the shareholders of a limited company can have ownership rights applied to items that are in the ownership of the company. By definition, the items owned by the limited company are not owned by the shareholders. The shareholders are only the owners of the shares they hold in the company.

Conclusion with Regard to the Restitution Application
The Committee concludes that, in his capacity as a shareholder in NV Bankierskantoor Lisser & Rosenkranz, Franz Wilhelm Koenigs was not a co-owner of one or more of the 26 artworks included in the restitution application. This means that the ownership requirement of section 2 of the assessment framework has not been met and therefore the restitution application by the Applicants cannot be granted. On the grounds of the first sentence of section 3 of the assessment framework, the upshot is that the Committee does not reach the stage of assessing the question of whether the sale of the artworks after 2 April 1940 resulted in involuntary loss of possession as a result of circumstances directly linked to the Nazi regime. In view of the assessment framework, the Committee has no choice but to advise rejection of the restitution application.

6. Advice

The Restitutions Committee advises the State Secretary for Culture and Media to reject the application for restitution of the 26 artworks in the NK Collection.

Adopted on 13 June 2022 by J. Kohnstamm (Chair), J.F. Cohen, S.G. Cohen-Willner, J.H. van Kreveld, D. Oostinga, E.H. Swaab (Vice-Chair) and C.C. Wesselink, and signed by the Chair and the Secretary.

(J. Kohnstamm, Chair)                       (E.M. van Sterkenburg, Secretary)


Inventory no.
Title Maker Location
NK1408 Christ on the Cross with Mary, Mary Magdalena and John the Evangelist Rubens, P.P. CC NL
NK1409 Hélène Fourment (1614-1673), the artist’s second wife Rubens, P.P. CC NL
NK1546 Head of a Young Woman Rubens, P.P. CC NL
NK2660 Winter landscape with Skaters Avercamp, H. Boijmans
NK2661 Portrait of a Young Man Master of Portraits of Princes Boijmans
NK2662 Still Life with Herring Francken II, H. Boijmans
NK2663 Hans Höchstätter Anonymous Boijmans
NK2664 Portrait of a Man Monogrammist H.B Boijmans
NK2665 Diana Hunting with One of Her Nymphs Dyck, A. van Boijmans
NK2667 Saint Ivo Jordaens I, J. Boijmans
NK2668 Windmills in the Evening Twilight Neer, A. van der Boijmans
NK2669 Winter Landscape with Skaters Neer, A. van der Boijmans
NK2670 Landscape with the Burning Sodom and Gomorrah Patenier, J. Boijmans
NK2671 The Last Supper Ratgeb, J. Boijmans
NK2672 Diana and Actaeon, fragment (right hand part): The Bath of Diana Rubens, P.P. Boijmans
NK2673 Hercules as Victor over Discord Rubens, P.P. Boijmans
NK2674 Diana and her Nymphs Discover the Pregnancy of Callisto Rubens, P.P. Boijmans
NK2675 Two Roman Generals, possibly Romulus and Titus Tatius Rubens, P.P. Boijmans
NK2676 Landscape with a Farmhouse; in the Distance a View of a Town Hondecoeter, G.C. d’ Boijmans
NK2677 Rocky Coast with Dark Sky Rubens, P.P. Boijmans
NK2678 Fire in a City at Night Heil, D. van Boijmans
NK2679 Diana and Actaeon Rubens, P.P.,
Teniers II, D.
NK2680 Achilles Discovered among the Daughters of Lycomedes Rubens, P.P. Boijmans
NK2681 Mountainous Landscape with Village in the Distance Hondecoeter, G.C. d’, Savery, R.J. Boijmans
NK2682 Rocky Landscape with a Village Seghers,H.P. Boijmans
NK2683 Diana and Actaeon Titian,
Vecellio, T.