Restitution procedures for non-State collections

If you wish to seek restitution or request investigation of an artwork that is in the possession of an art institution, municipality or private individual, follow the procedure below.

Submit a restitution request

If you believe you are entitled  to an artwork that is in the possession of a party other than the Dutch State, you should contact the possessor directly. If the possessor agrees, you may file a joint request for a binding recommendation from the Restitutions Committee. For further information, see the website: www.restitutiecommissie.nl.

Submit an investigation request

The applicant and the possessor can also agree to first request an investigation and a factual report by the Centre of Expertise for the Restitution of Cultural Goods and the Second World War on the basis of which to reach a mutually satisfactory solution without t the intervention of the Restitutions Committee. If this does not work out, the parties can still jointly submit the case to the Restitutions Committee.

Requests must be filed jointly and sent by letter to the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. Requests not submitted jointly cannot be processed. Address the letter to:

Minister of Education, Culture and Science
Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands
Postbus 1600
3800 BP Amersfoort
The Netherlands

  1. In your letter, provide the following information:
    • particulars of the artwork (at least: title and artist and preferably also a description)
    • name of the present possessor of the artwork and its actual location
    • name of the individual who was involuntarily dispossessed of the work during the Nazi regime
    • your relationship to this individual (familial and/or in the context of inheritance).
  2. If the work is not part of the National Art Collection and the request does fall under the restitution policy, the Cultural Heritage Agency will forward the request to the secretary of the Restitutions Committee. In these cases the secretary is the minister’s authorized representative and is not employed by the Restitutions Committee
  3. The secretary instructs the Centre of Expertise to carry out an investigation into the relevant historical facts and issue a factual report.
  4. The Centre of Expertise sends the factual report to the secretary, who forwards it to the applicant and present possessor.
  5. The two parties can seek to reach a mutually satisfactory solution, without applying to the Restitutions Committee. If this is not possible, they can as yet present the case to the Restitutions Committee for a binding recommendation.