Report: Dutch state to return three paintings stolen in the Holocaust

THE HAGUE (JTA) — The Netherlands reportedly has accepted a state commission’s recommendations to return three precious paintings to the descendants of Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker.

Jet Bussemaker, the Netherlands’ minister of education, culture and science, has accepted Tuesday’s findings of the panel on Holocaust-era stolen artwork, according to the Dutch news agency ANP.

The Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Restitution Applications for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War was looking into a claim on paintings by Philips Wouwerman, Dominicus van Tol and Hendrik Gerritsz, 17th-century painters of the Dutch Golden Age.

The paintings belonged to Goudstikker until 1940, when they left his possession and ended up in the hands of various owners, including Hermann Goring, former commander in chief of the German air force under Adolf Hitler. The paintings then moved to the possession of the Bildenden Kunste Museum in Leipzig before returning to the Netherlands.

The three paintings were incorporated into the national collection of artworks in 2012, according to an ANP report on Wednesday.

In 2006, the Dutch government returned 202 of Goudstikker’s works to his family based on the recommendations of the restitution committee, which the Dutch government established in 1997. Many of the paintings were sold, fetching approximately $10 million.

Goudstikker died in May 1940 while fleeing the Nazi invasion.

Last month, a separate committee on Holocaust-era stolen art determined that dozens of Dutch museums are in possession of at least 139 items with “problematic origins.”

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