A Balinese dagger, a Rembrandt self-portrait, and Jewish silver are among artworks looted by Nazis, French revolutionaries and Dutch colonialists on display in a new exhibition in the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague.

The show "Loot -- 10 stories" opens from Thursday, with the Mauritshuis director telling AFP it is part of Dutch efforts to come to terms with its colonial past.

"We want to make up for the injustices of the past," said Martine Gosselink.

Visitors can see the self-portrait of Rembrandt that was one of thousands of pieces of art Adolf Hitler stole from Jewish families and hid in a huge salt mine in Austria.

The traditional dagger, or 'Kris', was taken as part of Dutch military campaigns in Bali in the mid 19th century.

The Netherlands has been wrestling with the legacy of its colonial past in recent years, with King Willem-Alexander issuing a historic royal apology in July for the Netherlands' involvement in colonial-era slavery.

Also in July, the Netherlands said it would hand back nearly 500 colonial-era pieces to Indonesia and Sri Lanka, a move recommended by a government-appointed commission looking into illegal Dutch colonial "acquisitions."