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Looted Art and Restitution The Exodus and Partial Return of Dutch Art Property During and After World War II

Looted Art and Restitution tells the history of the trade, loot and restitution of artworks from the Netherlands before, during and after World War II. During the war, the Germans acquired large quantities of cultural property in the Netherlands. After the German defeat, the Allies undertook an immense cultural rescue operation to repatriate the removed works of art to the former occupied countries. It was the task of the receiving countries to return eligible works of art to their original owners or their heirs.

On the Dutch side, art recovery was strongly motivated by its cultural, morale-enhancing and financial importance to the Netherlands as a whole. Restitution to the dispossessed, mostly Jewish owners was initially slow in coming. In the late 1990s, critical questions arose in the Netherlands about the postwar restitution policy toward Jewish claimants. A renewed search for the original owners followed.

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