[THIS IS AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE ORIGINAL DUTCH ARTICLE “Streit beigelegt” PUBLISHED ON THE Süddeutsche Zeitung ON SEPTEMBER 1 2021. (https://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/kandinsky-amsterdam-restitution-1.5398330)]
September 1, 2021, 4:33 p.m. Arts
From Kia Vahland
The painting “Picture with Houses” (1909) by Wassily Kandinsky, still in the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum, is now to be restituted.
(Photo: – / picture alliance / dpa / Collectie S)
The city of Amsterdam wants to return Wassily Kandinsky’s “Picture with Houses” to the heirs of the Jewish owners who owned the work until 1940.
The city of Amsterdam has decided to return Wassily Kandinsky’s “Picture with Houses” to the heirs of the Jewish Lewenstein family, who owned the work until it was auctioned off in 1940 in occupied Amsterdam. This was preceded by a lengthy dispute in which the Dutch Restitution Commission came to the – then heavily criticized – result that the public’s interests in seeing the painting in the city’s Stedelijk Museum outweighed those of the heirs. The city is now distancing itself from this with the return offer. The heirs’ representative, James Palmer of the Mondex agency, said the family plans to put the painting in a Jewish museum for the time being. The Amsterdam decision could refer to a similar case in the Lenbachhaus in Munichwhich is currently being discussed by the German Limbach Commission. This is Kandinsky’s main work “The Colorful Life”, which also comes from the Lewensteins’ property.