In a letter dated 12 January 2010, the Minister for Education, Culture and Science (hereafter referred to as: ‘the Minister’) requested the Restitutions Committee (hereafter referred to as: ‘the Committee’) to issue a recommendation regarding the application for restitution submitted by Mr J.A.C.M.V. on behalf of ‘erven van wijlen H. Weijers uit Tilburg’ [the heirs of the late H. Weijers of Tilburg] (hereafter referred to as: ‘the Weijers heirs’ or ‘the applicants’). This application for restitution concerns nine paintings from the Netherlands Art Property Collection in the custody of the Dutch government (hereafter referred to as: ‘the NK collection’) with inventory numbers NK 1667, NK 1870, NK 2069, NK 2183, NK 2264, NK 2476, NK 2477, NK 2509 and NK 2774. The application referred to here was rejected by the Minister on 14 January 2009 in accordance with the recommendation issued by the Committee on 1 December 2008 (case number RC 1.68).
This request for a new recommendation is the result of a letter sent by the Weijers heirs to the Minister on 26 August 2009, in which objections were raised against the recommendation issued by the Committee in case RC 1.68 and in which the Minister was asked to reconsider his rejection of the application for restitution. In his letter of 12 January 2010, the Minister asked the Committee “om een hernieuwd advies te vernemen op basis van hetgeen door de erven Weijers in voormelde brief is aangevoerd.” [to issue a new recommendation on the basis of what the Weijers heirs adduce in the above-mentioned letter]. This request was dealt with under case number RC 4.118.
Following this request, the Committee looked into the objections raised by the Weijers heirs as well as additional sources and documentation. An account of this is laid down in a report, the final version of which was adopted on 6 September 2010. This report looks into whether there are
(i) objections against the procedural aspects of the case, as a result of which fundamental interests were harmed, or
(ii) new facts, which, had they been known at the time of the original recommendation, would have led to a different decision.