Dutch museums own some 139 contentious artworks
According to years of research carried out by the Netherlands Museums Association on the origins of artworks, some 139 pieces of art acquired by Dutch museums between 1933 and 1945 (during the Nazi regime) are suspected of being stolen, confiscated or were sold to them by force. Some 41 museums have such artworks in their collections, many of which were owned by Jews.
The research, started in 2009, had as a goal of establishing what the extent was of the possession of contentious paintings after the end of WWII. Some 162 Dutch museums collaborated with researchers in order to help return artworks to their rightful owners and/or their heirs. A special website
will go live at 4 pm has now gone live on Tuesday, 29 October (CET) for everyone to peruse and maybe even help.
The museum with the most ‘stolen’ artworks is the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (The Hague Municipal Museum), followed by Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Museum and Stedelijk Museum.