Gurlitt Strikes Deal on Nazi-Looted Art Restitution

  • April 07, 2014 23:47

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"Seated Woman/Woman Sitting in an Armchair" by Henri Matisse was found in the Munich Art Trove.

Germany announced on Monday that Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of a Nazi-era art dealer, has agreed to a plan for the possible restitution of stolen artworks.

Gurlitt's lawyers, Bavarian officials, and the German federal government have agreed for the government to appoint an international team of experts to sort through the provenance of 1,280 artworks seized from Gurlitt in 2012. Works found to be stolen from Jews and others during World War II, and acquired by Gurlitt's father, will be returned to rightful owners. Officials say Gurlitt owns some artworks legitmately.

The agreement bypasses a 30-year statute of limitations in Germany over the return of stolen property.

The Munich Art Trove, a name given to Gurlitt's collection, was hidden for decades in his Munich apartment, and includes works by Gauguin, Chagall, Picasso and Monet. Hundreds of artworks were also found hidden in his Salzburg residence.

A painting by Matisse already claimed by the heirs of art dealer Paul Rosenberg seemed to be one clear-cut case for restitution. Yet, on Monday, Gurlitt's lawyers said another claimant for the same painting emerged, holding up any return.


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