Dozens of Dutch institutions including museums say they have identified 170 artworks stolen from Jewish families by the Nazis and their collaborators.
The tracing project, involving 163 organisations, is now nearing completion, and researchers have even identified one painting in the Royal collection that once belonged to a Jewish family.
The artwork, which includes 83 paintings, 26 drawings, four sculptures and 13 Jewish ritual objects, was either stolen or confiscated under duress between 1933 and 1945, and many have already been returned to heirs by the country’s restitution committee.
This included a painting by Joris van der Haagen bought by Queen Juliana from a Dutch art dealer in 1960, unaware of its history. The royal palace discovered its origins during its own tracing on tens of thousands of artworks owned by the Dutch crown. The painting was returned to the Jewish family in 2015.
Another included an oil painting of Willem II on horseback by French painter Henri Auguste d’Ainecy Montpezat, whose 19th century hunting scenes hang in the V&A.
The painting of Willem was owned by Jewish photographer Hieronijmus Fraenkel, who died in Amsterdam in 1943, the same year his wife, son and grandchildren were deported to Sobibor, where they were killed. That same year the family had been forced to sell the painting to a bank, which then sold it to an art dealer in Cologne.
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