Over the years, we have seen more and more of these stories … works stolen by the Nazis were sold at bargain prices, and now the heirs want them back. Many end in favor of the heirs, but sometimes it goes the other way.
In 2018, the restitution committee ruled against the heirs of Robert Lewenstein in their quest to have Kandinsky’s Bild mit Häusern returned to the family. The painting was sold at a cut price to Amsterdam city council, which runs the Stedelijk Museum, on 9 October 1940 at the Frederik Muller auction house.
The heirs have not given up, and are claiming that there is a conflict of interest as four of the seven members of the Restitutions Committee have a relationship with the Stedelijk Museum (where the painting is housed) by being members of the museum’s business club or working at an office that sponsors the institution.
A court ruling is expected on December 16.