In a ceremony with the family, the Bomann-Museum in Celle, Germany, has returned to the heirs of Alphons Jaffé a painting by the Dutch Old Master Simon de Vlieger which was seized in 1941 from the Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden, Holland, together with 56 other paintings on loan from the Jaffé collection.
The museum bought the painting in 1943 from Heinrich Hoffmann. The Jaffé heirs are represented by the Commission for Looted Art in Europe which welcomed the restitution, but commented that the Bomann-Museum will not be returning another painting, one looted from the collection of Bruno Jellinek which the Commission also represents.
The Jellinek painting is owned by the Tansey Foundation which displays its collection in the museum and is a great financial patron, helping the museum acquire works. Although the city of Celle is committed to the Washington Principles, the Foundation is not. Like all private institutions and persons in Germany, it is not under any legal obligation to restitute.
Although the German government acknowledged the need to change the law in 2013, nothing has been done. In Celle, the city continues to host the Tansey collection and its looted Jellinek painting.
30 paintings from the Jaffé collection remain missing.