THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (JTA) — A panel of experts advised the Dutch government to return only one painting out of 189 claimed by relatives of a Holocaust-era art collector.
The Advisory Commission on Restitution Requests, Cultural Goods and World War II asserted that descendants of the art collector Nathan Katz and his brother, Benjamin, failed to prove that the brothers had been in possession of some of the 188 paintings they claimed, or that the brothers were pressured by Nazi occupation forces into selling the paintings.
The committee, in a report published Jan. 24, advised the government to return only one painting, “Portrait of a Man with a High Hat,” which is currently on display at the Museum Gouda near Utrecht. The painting is the work of the 17th century Dutch master Ferdinand Bol.
Relatives of the brothers, who have made several claims since 2004 for the return of the artwork, say they owned all 189 paintings. Many of the works, they claimed, were stolen by the Nazis and then came to be in the possession of Dutch authorities.
Nathan Katz died in 1949 and his brother in 1962.