IDFA - The Claim, The Search for Stolen Art
The Dutch Restitutions Committee investigates the claims of Dutch Holocaust survivors on art treasures stolen by the Nazis. How do you prove a painting really did belong to your grandfather?
The Dutch Restitutions Committee investigates the claims of Dutch Holocaust survivors on art treasures stolen by the Nazis during World War II. Museums and private individuals still regularly discover artworks of dubious origin, and trace the rightful owners. To come to a solution for the claim, the Restitutions Committee advises these claimants and museums, and the latter are not always eager to relinquish their artworks.
The film follows two claimants, one of whom is Lion Tokkie. Now in his sixties, he is searching for information that will support his claim on Isaac Israels’s painting Children on the Beach, which is currently hanging in a museum in Arnhem. But Israels painted several similar scenes, so if all you have are your father’s childhood memories, how can you prove that it is precisely the same painting that hung above your grandfather’s sideboard? As a child Mrs. Hamburger fled to the United States, where she still lives. She is hoping to recover two 17th-century portraits currently exhibited in Roosendaal City Hall. The stories are related with great energy, using plenty of archive wartime footage, and leading to an exciting and most unexpected climax.