Die Rückgabe einer Rückgabe

Ein ungewöhnlicher Tausch zwischen dem Westfälischen Landesmuseum und dem niederländischen Staat

  • Eline van Dijk (Autor/in)

Identifier (Artikel)


The article introduces the complex provenance of the painting Town Guard and Town Hall in Münster by the Dutch painter Cornelis Springer. In 1943, the Westfälisches Landesmuseum in Münster acquired the painting from an art dealer in the Netherlands, during the Nazi occupation. To this day, it is unknown where the painting was before 1943 and who previously owned it. However, its provenance from 1943 onwards is a remarkable one. After the war ended in 1945, the Allied forces recovered Nazi looted art all over Germany and handed it over to the respective countries of their origin. The governments of the previously occupied countries were entrusted with the return of the objects to their former owners or their descendants. This also happened with Springer’s painting Town Guard and Town Hall in Münster: it was confiscated by the British in 1948 and brought to the Netherlands for restitution. Yet, as with so many others, the case of Springer’s painting could not be solved at that time and so it remained in the Netherlands Art Property collection. Though the rightful owner was not found, the Westfälisches Landesmuseum was able to regain the painting in 1972 from the Dutch in exchange for another painting by the same artist.

Keywords: Cornelis Springer; Nazi-confiscated art; exchanged paintings; Nederlands Kunstbezit-Collection; claim for restitution


Cornelis Springer, Nazi-confiscated art, exchanged paintings, Nederlands Kunstbezit-Collection, claim for restitution