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On This Day… A Collection Of Nazi Art

Written by: George Chittenden : 10 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 3rd Nov, back in 2013 when it was first reported that German authorities had seized a massive collection of artworks that had been confiscated by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s. The collection of work totalling 1,500 pieces included works by Matisse, Picasso and Claude Monet. Investigators put the value of the works at about one billion euros (£846m; $1.35bn).

Hitler being presented with a peice of art

Hitler being presented with a peice of art

The treasure haul was discovered in an apartment in Schwabing, Munich during an investigation into possible tax evasion. The apartment was rented to Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of celebrated art historian and dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, and grandson of the art historian Cornelius Gurlitt.

A selection of some of the items recovered

A selection of some of the items recovered

An agreement was reached whereby the collection confiscated in Munich was to be returned to Gurlitt in exchange for his co-operation with a government-led task force charged with returning stolen pieces to the rightful owners. However, Gurlitt died on 6 May 2014. His will bequeathed all his property to the Museum of Fine Arts Bern, Switzerland, after all legitimate claims of ownership against it had been evaluated.

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