City of London returns Nazi-looted Dutch Old Master painting

Apollo 6 November 2017

A 17th-century Dutch oil painting, until now on display at the Lord Mayor of London’s official residence at Mansion House, is today returning to the heirs of its former owner, children’s hospital director J.H. Smidt van Gelder, from whom the work was stolen in the Netherlands by Nazis in 1945. The Oyster Meal (c. 1664–65) by Jacob Ochtervelt was later purchased by property developer Lord Harold Samuel, who bequeathed his collection to the City of London corporation after his death in 1987, on the condition that it hang permanently in Mansion House (his daughters have waived this condition to allow the painting’s return). Researchers from the Commission for Looted Art in Europe traced the work to a group of 14 paintings owned by Smidt van Gelder looted from the town of Arnhem during a Nazi attack, of which five remain missing.
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