Netherlands releases third report on provenance of State Art Collection

08 May 2002, Netherlands

The 'Netherlands, Origins Unkown' project office has released its third report on its investigation into the provenance of the state’s art collection, known as the 'NK' collection.

The latest report lists the results of research into the provenance of more than 500 NK collection paintings. Since the establishment of the Origins Unknown project in 1998, around 1,700 paintings in the collection have been researched.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences in the Netherlands reports that ‘in some cases the digitalisation of archive material has turned up previously unknown information on the original owner. This being the case for the archives of the bank Lippman, Rosenthal & Co. Recent examination of archives has thrown more light on the working methods of the Netherlands Art Property Foundation (Stichting Nederlands Kunstbezit) which was the custodian for the NK collection after the Second World War.’

The NK collection contains more than 4,000 works of art recovered from Germany after 1945, which, since that time, have been in the custodianship of the Dutch central government.

The project research has been supervised by the Ekkart committee, the body responsible for advising government on restitution policy on cultural artefacts displaced during the Second World War.

The first and second reports of the Origins Unknown project were published in October 1999, and November 2000. The project office intends to publish the latest report in the second half of this year.

For more information on the Origins Unknown project and details of the third interim report, go to: