Investigation into the provenance of museum collections in connection with the theft, confiscation and sale of objects under duress between 1933 and 1945.

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Zuiderzeemuseum

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Zuiderzeemuseum

Wierdijk 12 1601 LA Enkhuizen www.zuiderzeemuseum.nl

Investigation results

This museum has 1 object with a potentially problematic provenance.

Result of this investigation

Investigators discovered one item in the museum collection with problematic provenance: an ice boat called ‘Sperwer’ (sparrow hawk) which the museum bought in 1951 from the proprietor of a water sport centre. The vehicle had been the property of a Jewish businessman Andries Witmond of Monnickendam, who was killed in 1943 in Sobibor. 

Investigators also checked the museum’s painting collection at RKD’s pictorial archive and library. They paid particular attention to the objects acquired in 1952 from Netherlands Open-Air Museum which had been obtained during the war. Despite the lack of individually identifiable characteristics, investigators were able to establish the provenance of some objects in collaboration with Netherlands Open-Air Museum. Where information was available, no evidence was found of possible problematic provenance.

Update 

On 18 May 2015 the Restitutions Committee advised the Minister of Education, Culture and Science to honour the claim to the ice boat ‘Sperwer’ (Sparrow Hawk). The Minister took this recommendation, and transferred the ice boat to the heirs of its former owner. Read more about this at http://www.restitutiecommissie.nl/en/pressreleases/granting_claim_to_the_ice_boat_sperwer.html

Information from previous research (report Museum Acquisitions 1940-1948)

View reaction of Zuiderzeemuseum in the report Museale acquisitions 1940-1948 which was published in 1999 in response to the previous museum research.

About this museum and its collection

Zuiderzee Museum was founded in 1948 and displays the art, culture and heritage of the former Zuiderzee region. The museum combines an outdoor presentation with an indoor exhibition: alongside various buildings and vehicles, the museum presents an array of cultural history objects, paintings, prints and photos.

Objects

Ice-boat ‘Sperwer’

Ice-boat ‘Sperwer’

Artist/ Creator
Anonymous (possibly built in Edam)
Title
Ice-boat ‘Sperwer’
Year
c. 1750
Technique
Oak
Size
l. 350 x b. 150 x h. 50 cm
Inventorynumber
ZZM-003257
Category
Applied art
Museum
Zuiderzeemuseum

Investigation results

Conclusion

Before the Second World War this boat belonged to Andries Witmond, a Jewish businessman.

Explanation

The Witmond family ran a hardware store on...

more information