Organisations involved

Several agencies are involved in implementing the restitution policy for cultural goods from 1933-1945.

Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands

The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) offers its services to all those seeking information and advice on restitution and provenance research with respect to cultural goods that were looted, confiscated or sold under duress during the Nazi regime.

The Agency is the first point of contact for potential rights holders and collection managers with respect to restitution policy, procedure and provenance research. Researchers can obtain advice about how to conduct provenance research and can be referred to available archives and involved organizations. Museums can get advice on conducting provenance research on existing collections and on researching new acquisitions.

The Agency provides information on the restitution policy and promotes sharing of knowledge aimed at supporting provenance research and identification of possible rights holders.

The Agency processes the requests for restitution on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). These requests must relate to cultural goods that were looted, confiscated or sold under duress during the Nazi regime. Where this concerns restitution of objects that are part of the National Art Collection, the Agency always seeks advice from the Restitutions Committee on the Minister’s behalf, unless it is evident that the request does not fall under the restitution policy.

The Agency manages and researches the NK Collection (The Netherlands Art Property Collection) which comprises works that were returned to the Netherlands after the war and then placed in the National Art Collection.

The Agency coordinates the Museum Provenance Researchers World War II Network (Netwerk Museale Herkomstonderzoekers Tweede Wereldoorlog). This network meets twice a year to exchange information, ideas and experience with one another. Early-career and other provenance researchers employed by Dutch museums are invited to take part in these biannual meetings. If you wish to join please send an e-mail to stating your name, position, contact details and the name of the museum where you work. We will then contact you to discuss your participation.

Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

The Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) is responsible for the restitution policy and its funding. The Minister provides the services of the Expert Centre Restitution and the Restitutions Committee at no cost, even if a request concerns an artwork that is not part of the National Art Collection.

If the work is part of the National Art Collection the Minister also bears the costs for a civil-law notary and for transportation if an item is to be returned. If the work is in another collection, the applicant and the current possessor are responsible for engaging a civil-law notary or a carrier and for bearing the resulting costs.

Restitutions Committee

The ‘Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Restitution Applications for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War’, known as the Restitutions Committee for short, is an independent body. It advises in restitution cases which are looted, confiscated or sold under duress during the Nazi regime. Before issuing a recommendation, the Committee may ask the Expert Centre Restitution to conduct a study.

Website Restitutions Committee

Expert Centre Restitution

The Expert Centre Restitution (ECR) carries out independent and commissioned investigations with regard to loss of ownership of cultural goods as a result of the Nazi regime and with regard to restitution requests. The Restitutions Committee or the government can ask the ECR to carry out fact-finding for individual restitution requests. In addition, by carrying out fundamental scientific research the ECR contributes to growth of knowledge in the field of spoliation, restitution and provenance research.

Website Expert Centre Restitutions (ECR) - NIOD

The RCE Knowledge base (RCE Kennisbank, information in Dutch) provides a comprehensive list of national and international organisations and committees dealing with the restitution of cultural property from the Second World War.