Bloomberg‘s Catherine Hickey reports on the decision of a Dutch Culture Minister to return 13 paitings, 12 to the heirs of Hans Ludwig Larsen and one to the heirs of Richard Semmel. The Larsens had been paid €325,000 for the works, so they will be required to return that money before getting their paintings back. The Semmel heirs never received their portion of the Nazi sales.
On the other side of the ledger, the heirs of the Katz brothers are not doing so well with the Dutch:
Separately, the committee rejected a claim for 31 works of art that the descendants of gallery owners Nathan and Benjamin Katz said may have been looted by the Nazis. Heirs including Sybilla Goldstein-Katz, the daughter of Nathan Katz, filed for the return of 227 items in March 2007. The committee cited a lack of proof of ownership as the reason for its decision to reject the claim for 31 works, including paintings by Frans Hals and Salomon van Ruysdael.
A decision on the remaining works in the Katz claim isn’t expected before next year, said Evelien Campfens, a spokeswoman for the Restitutions Committee. The panel said it decided to split the investigation into two parts to reach a speedier ruling on artworks claimed by more than one party. Both the Van Goyen painting returned to Larsen and the De Keyser portrait returned to Semmel also were claimed by the Katz heirs. […]
Goldstein-Katz is represented by Tina M. Talarchyk of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P. in West Palm Beach, Florida. The heirs argued that the gallery’s records of purchases and sales, kept in a blue stock book, were lost while it was in the custody of the Dutch state and that therefore the burden of proof of ownership should shift to the Dutch government.