Statement by the Family of Herbert M. Gutmann, January 6, 2020
1. We, the descendants of Herbert M. Gutmann, are grateful to the Netherlands Minister of Culture for the decision to order restitution of the 14 pieces of the Meissen ‘Stadholder Service’, which were part of the art collection that our ancestor was forced to sell in 1934. The set originally contained 24 plates and two sauce boats: 10 plates have not been traced, 2 plates are with other Dutch museums.
2. Together with institutions in Germany and Austria, the Dutch government has recognised that Herbert Gutmann sold his art collection against his will and under irresistible pressure from the Nazi authorities. The Minister’s decision is an act of justice.
3. We have traced only a fraction of the art collection that Herbert M. Gutmann was forced to sell. Our search continues. We appeal to the owners of other works of art from his collection, which were sold together with the Meissen at the Graupe auction house in April 1934, to make them available for restitution. Institutions and private collectors must be scrupulous about the provenance of works that may have been sold by or taken from Jews in Germany, Austria and Nazi-occupied Europe between 1933 and 1945, and to bring questionable items to the attention of their country’s restitution authorities.
4. We hope and intend that these beautiful objects will remain available for the public to admire.
Mr. Francis FitzGibbon, Herbert M. Gutmann’s grandson:
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