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Holland to return 2 Nazi-looted paintings

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The Dutch government said it will return two Nazi-looted paintings to the heirs of a Jewish Holocaust victim.

“Amsterdam Town Hall” by Gerrit Berckheyde and “View of a Dutch Harbour with Figures” by Adam Willaerts — both from the 17th century — belonged to the Dutch Jewish collector Sam Bernhard Levie, the Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Restitution Applications for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War wrote on its website last week.

Holland’s minister of education, culture and science, Jet Bussemaker, has accepted the advice, the commission said, and will return the paintings to Levie’s heirs.

Levie sold the artworks in September 1940, several months after the German occupation of the Netherlands, to the art dealer Walter Andreas Hofer, who acted as an agent for Nazi party boss Herman Goring.

Levie was deported to the Sobibor death camp in Poland, where he was murdered in 1943.

The paintings were shipped to Germany and then returned to Holland and incorporated into the government’s national art collection.

Last year, a different advisory committee found that dozens of Dutch museums are in possession of at least 139 items with “problematic origins.” — jta


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