The applicants were prompted to submit a claim by the mention of the name ‘M. Goldschmidt-Rothschild’ in the provenance history of the two sculptures in question on the website of the Origins Unknown Agency (BHG).
Following the Minister’s request for a recommendation, the Committee instigated a fact-finding investigation, the results of which were included in a draft report dated 11 April 2011. The Committee sent this draft report to the applicants for comment in a letter dated 2 May 2011, to which they replied in a letter dated 17 June 2011. In a letter dated 2 May 2011, the draft investigatory report was also sent to the Minister for additional information, who replied by email on 17 November 2011 that there was no additional information that he wanted the Committee to consider.
Given the numerous uncertainties concerning the circumstances of the loss of possession, the Committee decided that further investigation was necessary. As such, the Committee sent a letter dated 25 May 2012 to the applicants asking them further questions, to which they replied by letter dated 27 July 2012. The director of the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD), prof. dr. R.E.O. Ekkart, was also asked for his expertise, while a further investigation of German archives was conducted as well. Furthermore, numerous requests for information were sent to (research) institutions and individuals in the Netherlands and abroad. The results of this investigation were sent to the applicants. The Committee sent the revised version of the investigatory report to the Minister and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam for their information in a letter dated 4 September 2012. The investigatory report was revised to include the new research findings, and the report was finalised on 6 December 2012. During the procedure with the Committee, the applicants were represented by dr. S. Rudolph from Dresden, Germany.