A German task force charged with reviewing the provenance of artworks amassed by Munich hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt have confirmed that a Henri Matisse was stolen by the Nazis in 1941.
Matisse's "Woman with a fan" was taken from the late Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg, and Germany's experts advised the painting be restituted to his heirs. They say it is now up to Gurlitt's heirs to return the painting. Gurlitt named the Kunstmuseum in Bern, Switzerland, as his heir, but the museum has not confirmed that it is accepting his collection.
The Rosenberg family was surpirsed to find out about the ruling at the same time as the press. Their lawyer said, "We would like to express our disappointment, however, with the Task Force's decision to release this information to the press before informing the heirs. It is the height of insensitivity and continues the vein of disregard for due process and compassion that we have seen since the discovery of the Gurlitt hoard."