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A four-year investigation led by the Netherlands Museum Association revealed that 139 artworks in Dutch public collections may have been stolen or forcibly acquired by the Nazis during World War II, many from Jewish owners. 162 Dutch museums took part in the probe, which targeted artworks acquired between 1933 and 1945. Around a quarter of the institutions were found to house objects with “potentially problematic histor[ies].”

The release of the investigation’s findings coincides with the launch of the website, which details the objects and their histories in hopes of attaining missing information. Names of the original owners have been attributed to 61 objects and museum officials will make ongoing attempts to contact relatives or heirs of the artworks’ original owners. So far, about a dozen works have been returned to their original owners or their descendants.

According to a study conducted by the United States National Archives in 1997, the Nazis plundered 20% of the art in Europe.

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