The Nederlands Kunstbezit collection comprises approximately 4,000 art objects and consists of paintings (approx. 1,600), drawings, prints, ceramics, silverware, furniture, carpets and other special objects. This collection is what remains of the artworks recuperated from Germany after World War II and is managed by the State. The artworks are housed in various Dutch museums, at embassies and in government buildings. Parts of the NK collection can also be found in the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN) depot.
Those people who had lost art objects in any manner whatsoever or had information on a missing work of art had to report this to the Stichting Nederlands Kunstbezit on special forms. The descriptions of missing objects on these declaration forms were used for tracing works in Germany. This led to the recuperation of many works of art. Every declaration was examined and in a number of cases it was decided to return recuperated works to their rightful owners. No owners could be traced for the remaining works or they were instances of voluntary sale and after the war there was no right to restitution in such instances. Some of those art objects were auctioned off. Others came to be managed by the State and now constitute what is known as the NK collection.
American soldiers hold up paintings recovered from Neuschwarstein in Fussen, Bavaria, 12 May 1945.