Gert Jan van den Bergh was one of the speakers at The Bonn Talks on Art and Cultural Property Law, responding to the recently published Report of the Kohnstamm Committee on the Dutch restitution policy for looted art during WOII. The Conference ‘Striving for justice? The evaluation of the Dutch restitution policy in an international context’, was organized by the University of Bonn in association with the Center for Research on Dutch Jewry. In discussions with, among others, the Chairman of the Kohnstamm Committee, Jacob Kohnstamm, Gert Jan emphasized that we have to return to the basics as agreed in the 1998 Washington Principles and apply a more relaxed burden of proof. Unavoidable gaps or ambiguities in the provenance in light of the passage of time should not be invoked to the detriment of claimants. Claims regarding artworks helt in public collections should be adjudicated using one single uniform assessment instead of the current two. Furthermore the Netherlands should not claim ownership the NK collection.

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