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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Nazi-looted art’

Holder of Possible Nazi-Looted Art Treasure Trove Now Cooperating

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The man who hoarded hundreds of objects of art allegedly stolen from Jews by the Nazis has reportedly agreed to comply with an investigation, and to relinquish ownership of any art demonstrated to be stolen.

Cornelius Gurlitt was discovered to be hoarding in excess of 1000 pieces of artwork on his property, more than half of which the German government believes may have been stolen by Nazis from Jews during World War II. Gurlitt, whose father, Hildebrand, was a notorious dealer in Nazi-looted art, claims that only perhaps three percent of his artwork might have been stolen.

The entire collection was removed from Gurlitt and is currently in the possession of a special task force assembled to determine whether the art was stolen.

“He is committed to the voluntary return of any looted art,” German Culture Minister Monika Grütters told German broadcaster 3sat. “We are very pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with Mr. Gurlitt and his lawyers, regardless of the ongoing criminal proceedings.”

A joint statement issued Monday, April 8, by the Bavarian Minisry of Justice, the German Culture Minister’s Office and a Gurlitt representative said that Gurlitt has agreed to cooperate with the authorities in an effort to determine whether Nazi-looted artwork is in his collection, reported the German news source Deutsche Welle.

The treasure trove was discovered in 2012 when the German authorities were investigating tax irregularities of the 81 year old Gurlitt. After the initial tranche was discovered, a second one was found on another property owned by Gurlitt. The collection includes works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee and Max Beckman.

During the Second World War, Gurlitt’s father was permitted to trade in what was then known as “Entartete Kunst“(degenerate art), that is, modernist art which was considered “un-German” or Jewish Bolshevik in style.

The huge collection of art was seized by authorities in 2012 who were investigating a tax case, but the incident only became public last November. The trove included works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Franz Marc, Paul Klee and Max Beckmann.

In February, the now-elderly Gurlitt filed a lawsuit against the German commission tasked with making a determination of the legal status of the artwork. Gurlitt claimed his privacy and other rights were violated by the investigators and also that they and no one else had any legal right to the artwork but him.

Nazi-Looted Paintings Going on Auction Block

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Nazi-looted paintings recovered by the Allies platoon known as the Monuments Men will be sold at auction in New York.

The four lots will go on the block at Sotheby’s in New York on Thursday as part of a sale of Old Master paintings and sculpture.

Some of the works were owned by the Rothschild family. Two of the family’s paintings to be auctioned were placed in the private collection of Nazi leader Hermann Goering, Reuters reported.

The Monuments Men during World War II retrieved tens of thousands of valuable masterpieces and returned them to their righful owners.

A film about the platoon, directed by George Clooney and with a star-studded cast, is scheduled to open next month.

Hoarder of Nazi-looted Art Vows to Fight for Munich Stash

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Cornelius Gurlitt said he is the legal owner of the 1,400 works of Nazi-looted art found in his Munich apartment and he will fight for them.

At issue are long-lost works by Chagall, Picasso, Matisse and others deemed “degenerate” by the Nazis.

“I won’t give anything back voluntarily,” Gurlitt, 80, said in the German-language Spiegel magazine.

Gurlitt, whose father, Hildebrand, was among a handful of art dealers authorized by the Nazis to obtain and sell works for the benefit of the German treasury, said he had turned over papers to the state prosecutor to prove that his father acquired the works legally.

Customs agents confiscated the paintings, drawings and etchings in early 2012 as part of an investigation of Gurlitt on possible tax evasion charges. The story came to light earlier this month in an article in Focus magazine.

Gurlitt said the courts and media had given a wrong impression of the situation. Expressing amazement at all the attention to the case, he said he “only wanted to live with my paintings.”

Gurlitt said the authorities could have waited until he was dead before removing the artworks and he decried the decision last week by the state prosecutor to post images from the collection online as an invasion of his privacy.

Claims Conference Calls on Germany to Return Nazi-Looted Art

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) has accused Germany of being morally complicit in the theft of 1,500 works of art discovered in a Munich apartment owned by the son of a war-time art dealer.

Cache of Nazi-looted Art Found in Munich

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Authorities in Munich revealed that a cache of works, many by artists the Nazis considered “degenerate,” was found in a moldy storeroom in the German city.

The hundreds of works were hoarded by an elderly man who sold some of them to cover everyday expenses.

Included among the 1,500 works, which reportedly are worth billions, are prints, etchings, engravings and paintings by such artists as Pablo Picasso, Max Beckmann, Marc Chagall, Emil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Oskar Kokoschka, Paul Klee and Henri Matisse.

The works probably were confiscated by the Nazis as “degenerate” or stolen from Jewish owners, according to the Munich-based Focus magazine, which broke the story of the art cache.

“Now we need to quickly find out whether there are legitimate owners or heirs,” Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the Bild Zeitung newspaper. “Belated justice is better than none.”

Focus also reported that official searches had been underway for at least 200 of the works. An art historian is now tracing provenance and estimating values.

Reportedly, an art dealer identified as “Hildebrand G.” snapped up the works in the 1930s and 1940s. For 50 years his son, whose identity has been publicized as Cornelius Gurlitt, apparently hoarded the works in a dark storeroom in his Munich home on homemade shelves. They were found by customs officials investigating Gurlitt for tax evasion alongside rotting food and trash.

According to Focus, the customs investigators made the sensational discovery in the spring of 2011. The authorities kept mum while searching for more information.

The works are now safely stored in a customs warehouse. Focus reported that Gurlitt had sold some of the paintings over the years, even managing to auction off a Beckmann painting for more than $1 million after the customs raid. Investigators found empty frames and paperwork indicating sales that took place over the years.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/cache-of-nazi-looted-art-found-in-munich-2/2013/11/04/

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