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Royal collection to be checked for colonial era artefacts

Part of the collection is kept at the Het Loo palace. Photo:

The Dutch royal family’s collection of colonial era artefacts is to be checked over by experts to make sure none of it was stolen or taken by force.

The decision to sanction the investigation was taken by the royal collection foundation SHVON, which includes queen Maxima on its board.

The king and queen are ‘very much behind’ this independent research which is ‘essential to answer questions about the legality of the management of the objects,’ the foundation said.

The research committee includes art historian Rudi Ekkart who has previously researched the origins of art stolen from Jews during World War II. In 2015 it emerged that the royal collection included one painting which had been stolen by the Nazi occupiers from its rightful owners.

The colonial art investigation is set to take around 18 months.

Last month the Indonesian government requested the Netherlands return a number of artifacts taken during the colonial era, including the reins of the horse ridden by the leader of the Java uprising in the early 19th century and the ‘Lombok treasure’ consisting of gems and gold and silver jewellery.

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