Dutch museums to return six pieces of Nazi looted art to Jewish woman's heir
The Rijksmuseum, the Amsterdam Museum, and the Kunstmuseum Den Haag will return six precious works of art to the heirs of Jewish Emma Budge. The Restitutions Committee ruled it likely that Budge involuntarily lost possession of the works during the Nazi era in Germany. They include four 17th-century salt cellars made by Johannes Lutma (1584-1669), considered the “Rembrandt of silversmiths,” the Volkskrant reports.
Following the Restitution Committee’s ruling, State Secretary Uslu Gunay (Culture) determined that the Rijksmuseum should return the two salt cellars in its collection to Emma Budge’s heirs, despite their cultural value for the Netherlands. The municipality of Amsterdam decided the same for the two salt cellars in the Amsterdam Museum’s collection.
The other two works of art are a cup screw made by Andries Grill (1604-1665) and a Sultanabad dish likely made in Iran between 1285 and 1400. These were in the possession of the Kunstmuseum in The Hague.
Emma Budge had wanted to bequeath her wealth and art collection to the city of Hamburg but changed her will after Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime came to power. The Nazis still managed to get their hands on her property and auctioned off her art collection in Berlin in 1937. After the war, Budge’s heirs received compensation, but not for the art.
According to the Restitutions Committee, Budge’s will was executed differently than she intended, and her heirs were not able to freely use the proceeds from the auction of the art collection.