Mystery surrounds discovery of art trove stolen by Nazis
2013-11-04 0:00

From: RawStory

The discovery in a rubbish-strewn flat in Germany of nearly 1,500 paintings including works by Picasso and Matisse looted by the Nazis sparked urgent calls Monday to hunt for their rightful owners.

The shock find, valued at an estimated one billion euros ($1.3 billion dollars), was reported Sunday by news weekly Focus. Authorities repeatedly declined to comment on the trove apparently uncovered in 2011.

But German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Berlin had been aware of the case for “several months” and was assisting an investigation by public prosecutors with experts in Nazi-era stolen art.

Hundreds of the modernist masterpieces are believed to have been stolen by the Nazis from Jewish collectors.

“I think it’s the biggest single find of Holocaust pictures that there’s been for years, but it’s still a tiny fraction of the total number of pictures that we’re looking for,” Julian Radcliffe, chairman of the Art Loss Register, told AFP.

“They were the sort of pictures that the Nazis would have looted, either to sell for hard currency, or in certain cases because they wanted them for their own museums, particularly if they were Old Masters.”

Investigators came upon the paintings during a 2011 search of an apartment belonging to the now 80-year-old son of art collector Hildebrand Gurlitt, who had bought them during the 1930s and 1940s, according to Focus.

The search was carried out because the son, Cornelius Gurlitt, was caught by customs authorities on a train from Switzerland to Munich with a large amount of cash.

The collection included many of the masters of the 20th century, among them Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall and the German painters Emil Nolde, Franz Marc, Max Beckmann and Max Liebermann.

The artworks lay hidden amid old jam jars and junk in darkened rooms in Gurlitt’s apartment in the southern city for more than half a century, the magazine said.

Gurlitt, a recluse without a job, had sold a few over the years, living off the proceeds.

His father, despite having a Jewish grandmother, had become indispensable to officials in the Third Reich because of his art expertise and vast network of contacts.

Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels put Gurlitt in charge of selling the art, much of which the Nazi party deemed “degenerate”, to foreign buyers abroad.

[...]

Read the full article at: rawstory.com









Related Articles
Family, ‘Not Willing to Forget,’ Pursues Art It Lost to Nazis
Holocaust survivor ordered to return priceless gold artifact to German museum
Modern art was CIA Weapon
Ancient art studio found in African cave
Newly discovered Van Gogh painting kept in Norwegian attic for years
Secret Painting in Rembrandt Masterpiece Coming into View
Painting with the dead: Holocaust victims’ ashes used in Swede’s painting
Man Finds His Doppelganger in 16th Century Italian Painting


Latest News from our Front Page

Congratulations Pussy Porters!
2015-03-26 18:52
Mural paid for by the government, decorates a Swedish school. On International Women’s day Julia Caesar published this chronicle in Swedish on Snaphanen which I’ve translated but prior to reading it I’d like to provide you with some background information on certain terms which are incomprehensible to non-Swedes. First and foremost “pussy porter” and “penis porter” are terms that third-wave feminists in ...
Germanwings co-pilot appears to have crashed plane deliberately – prosecutor
2015-03-26 18:08
The Germanwings co-pilot seemed to have crashed the plane deliberately, killing 150 people on board. The co-pilot wouldn’t let the captain inside the cabin, with the “intension to destroy” the jet, the French prosecutor said at a press conference. Follow RT’s live updates on investigation into Germanwings plane crash The Germanwings co-pilot was identified as Andreas Lubitz. The captain was between 30 ...
Sweden adds gender-neutral pronoun to dictionary
2015-03-25 19:38
The official dictionary of the Swedish language will introduce a gender-neutral pronoun in April, editors at the Swedish Academy have announced. “Hen” will be added to “han” (he) and “hon” (she) as one of 13,000 new words in the latest edition of the Swedish Academy’s SAOL. The pronoun is used to refer to a person without revealing their gender – either because ...
Unchecked government drones? Not over my backyard
2015-03-25 0:27
On last Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration gave Amazon the green light to begin testing drones. While you aren’t likely to be getting your Amazon order delivered by drone anytime soon, as the approval is limited to research and testing, the fact remains that this technology is already part of our lives. Drones are already helping the federal government observe and ...
Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
2015-03-25 0:46
For years, Finland has been the by-word for a successful education system, perched at the top of international league tables for literacy and numeracy. Only far eastern countries such as Singapore and China outperform the Nordic nation in the influential Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings. Politicians and education experts from around the world – including the UK – have ...
More News »