Gurlitt Collection

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Franz Marc's Pferde in Landschaft (Horses in Landscape), one of the artworks discovered in the Gurlitt collection (probably 1911, gouache on coloured paper).

The Gurlitt Collection (alternatively known as the "Gurlitt Trove", "Gurlitt Hoard", "Munich Art Hoard", "Schwabing Art Trove", etc.) was a collection of around 1,500 art works assembled by the late German art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt (1895–1956) which was passed first to his wife Helene, and on her death to their son Cornelius Gurlitt, who died in 2014. The collection attracted international interest in 2013 when it was announced as a sensational 2012 "Nazi loot discovery" by the media as a result of actions by officials of Ausgburg in Cornelius Gurlitt's apartment in Schwabing, Munich, investigating Gurlitt on suspicion (later shown to be unfounded) of possible tax evasion. German authorities seized the entire collection, although Gurlitt was not detained. Gurlitt repeatedly requested the return of the collection on the grounds that he had committed no crime, but eventually agreed that the collection could remain with the Prosecutor's office for evaluation in case any Nazi-era looted works could identified. In 2014, a new agreement was reached that the collection would be returned to Gurlitt but he died shortly thereafter, leaving all his property - including a house and additional works stored at his residence in Salzburg, Austria - to the Museum of Fine Arts Bern in Switzerland, which agreed to accept the collection (minus any works suspected of being looted) in November 2014. Hildebrand Gurlitt, who had assembled the collection, was suspected of incorporating a number of looted items and, potentially, works acquired in dubious circumstances during the second world war and preceding period in Nazi Germany, in addition to works acquired legitimately and/or passed down through his family; the provenance of a significant subset of items is still under investigation.

The collection contains Old Masters as well as Impressionist, Cubist, and Expressionist paintings, drawings and prints by artists including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Eugène Delacroix, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Franz Marc, Marc Chagall, Édouard Manet, Camille Pisarro, Auguste Rodin, Otto Dix, Edvard Munch, Gustave Courbet, Max Liebermann, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, among many others, as well as works by family members who were themselves artists. Legally, Cornelius was the owner of all the works upon their discovery since in Germany, legal claims on potential looted works expire after 30 years, however since 2012 he agreed to voluntarily return any works that were shown to be looted to the heirs of the families concerned, a provision that has been carried on by the new custodians of the collection. To date, five pieces have been returned, being works by Henri Matisse, Max Liebermann, Carl Spitzweg, Camille Pisarro and Adolph von Menzel, while a profit-sharing agreement was reached with the heir of another family for a work by Max Beckmann prior to its sale in 2011.


Hildebrand Gurlitt was an art historian, museum director and art dealer in Germany during the 1930s. He was particularly interested in modern art of the day, befriended a number of artists and purchased their works for the museums under his control; when he became a dealer he often exhibited their works for sale, and on occasion purchased items he particularly liked for his own collection. From the mid 1930s onwards, he also purchased and, in some cases, onsold artworks, often bought for low prices, from private individuals including Jewish owners who were under duress to pay extortionate taxes, or were otherwise liquidating assets in order to flee the country. On the one hand he could have claimed he was helping the owners in their predicament, since there were few dealers who were prepared to undertake such transactions, but on the other he was not averse to enriching himself in the process, as well as providing no cooperation to post-war claimants seeking to reclaim or obtain compensation for such works sold under duress.[1]

In 1937, the German Government under Hitler decided, that, under Hitler's instructions, much modern German art was classified as "degenerate" (not fitting to be called art in Hitler's view) and was confiscated from museums all over Germany; a travelling Degenerate Art Exhibition was set up where some of these pieces were displayed to the public, to show their so-called "degenerate" nature. The government then decided that a system would be set up to sell as many as possible of the confiscated items abroad, to raise hard currency for Government coffers. Four dealers including Gurlitt were then given permission to trade such pieces, seeking overseas buyers in return for an agent's commission (the others being Karl Buchholz, Ferdinand Möller and Bernhard Böhmer). When such pieces failed to sell, as was frequently the case, Gurlitt and others were often able, legitimately or illicitly, to add them to their personal collections, or purchase them for a low value. Gurlitt's name appears against many of the entries on a listing compiled by the Ministry of Propaganda and now held by the Victoria and Albert Museum that provides details of the fate of each object, including whether it was exchanged, sold or destroyed.[2]

Max Liebermann's Two Riders On The Beach in the Gurlitt collection and now passed on to the descendants of the original Jewish owner

Following the fall of France, Hermann Göring appointed a series of Reichsleiter Rosenberg Taskforce approved dealers, including Gurlitt, to acquire French art assets - mainly comprising works looted from museums and from the previously wealthy collectors of the day - for Hitler's planned Führermuseum which he wanted to build in Linz; some of the works also went to swell Göring's personal art collection.[3] Gurlitt, who had already embarked on purchasing trips to Paris on behalf of German Museums, purchased around 200 works in Paris and the Netherlands between 1943 and 1944, not including works acquired for his own collection, of which 168 were intended for the Führermuseum.[4] Gurlitt undoubtedly used his thus "officially sanctioned" purchasing trips to Paris, which was at that time awash with artworks including old masters, of dubious provenance and including items now recognised as being looted, to further enrich his own holdings, and also became very wealthy from commissions on the enormous amounts of money being paid by Hitler's regime for artworks at that time.


Hildebrand was captured with his wife and twenty boxes of art in Aschbach (Schlüsselfeld) in June 1945. Under interrogation after capture, Gurlitt and his wife told United States Army authorities that in the fire bombing of Dresden of February 1945 much of his collection and his documentation of art transactions had been destroyed at his home in Kaitzer Strasse.[5] One hundred and fifteen pieces were taken from him by American and German authorities, but returned to him after he had convinced them that he had acquired them lawfully. Gurlitt successfully presented himself to his assessors as a victim of Nazi persecution due to his Jewish heritage, and negotiated the release of his possessions. Whether or not portions of his collection and records of business transactions were destroyed in Dresden as Gurlitt claimed, additional portions apparently had been successfully hidden in Franconia, Saxony and Paris, from which they were retrieved after the war.[6]

By 1947, Gurlitt had resumed trading in art works and also took up a position as Director of the Art Association for the Rhineland and Westphalia, based in Düsseldorf. He continued to purchase works for his own collection, including Courbet's Village Girl with Goat for which he paid the then very large sum of 480,000 French Francs,[7] and lent works from his collection for several travelling exhibitions: one such show, "German Watercolors, Drawings and Prints: A Mid-Century Review" included 23 works from Hildebrand's collection and toured the United States up to and beyond his premature death at age 61 in a car crash in 1956.[8] On his death, the collection passed to his wife Helene, and on her death in 1964, mainly to their son Cornelius, with some items also passed to Cornelius' sister. Knowledge of the collection appears to have persisted in the minds of his contemporaries in the German art dealing world, and in some cases with their successors in business, but eventually - particularly with the passage of more than four decades - faded from public awareness.

The bulk of Hildebrand's collection survived with his son Cornelius, who lived a quiet, virtually reclusive life with the artworks inherited from his father for over forty years, with portions of the collection kept at his two addresses in Munich, Germany and Salzburg, Austria; additional items appear to have been held by Cornelius' sister Benita, who later married and moved away to Stuttgart with her husband. Apart from any monies inherited after his parents' deaths, Cornelius survived by selling a small number of items from the collection, notably in 1988 and 1990, with the proceeds paid into a Swiss bank account which he would visit at four- to six- week intervals to withdraw money for his living expenses. Another painting, Max Beckmann's The Lion Tamer, was sold at auction in 2011, most likely to cover medical bills; Cornelius had already agreed to share the around €800,000 proceeds equally with the heir to the Jewish family that had originally possessed the painting.[9]

2012 discovery by German tax authorities[edit]

On 22 September 2010, German customs officials at the German–Switzerland border stopped Cornelius on the return leg of one of his Swiss visits and found him to be carrying €9,000 in cash, within the legal limit for cash transfers across the border but which was notified as suspicious to the German tax authorities; under questioning, he explained that it was proceeds from the sale of a painting. Since Cornelius had no occupation and no obvious means of income, the tax office suspected that he might be involved in the illegal transfer of artworks across the border without paying the relevant taxes, and obtained a warrant in 2011 to search his apartment in Schwabing, Munich, to see if they could find any evidence to support their supposition.[10][11][12] On 28 February 2012 officials of the Augspurg Prosecutor's Office entered his apartment and found not records of past sales, but a reported 121 framed and 1,258 unframed works, the major part of the collection inherited from his father, with an initial reported worth of one billion Euros (approx. $1.3 billion),[13] although this value eventually proved to be a significant overestimate. The collection was confiscated, under a process that was subsequently challenged in court since Cornelius had committed no crime under German law; it was also subsequently claimed that the scale of the action was disproportionate to any supposed tax irregularities.

Authorities initially banned reporting on the raid, which only came to light in 2013.[13][14] Initial media hysteria with sensational headlines such as "Artworks Worth $1.6 Billion, Stolen by Nazis, Discovered in German Apartment" proved to be an overstatement; writing in 2017, the German Lost Art Foundation concluded that "Looking at the art trove as a whole, it becomes clear that it is not so much a collection of highly valuable artworks worth billions as was initially assumed, but rather a mixture of family heirlooms and dealer stock. It does contain some very high quality, outstanding pieces, but most of it consists of works on paper, including a large number of serial graphic works."[15]

Speaking to Der Spiegel magazine in November 2013, Cornelius insisted that his father had obtained the works legally and stated that he would not voluntarily return any of them to previous owners, although subsequently he said that in respect of the latter statement he was misquoted.[16][17] Feeling threatened by the intense media attention, Gurlitt's brother-in-law offered 22 works in his possession to the police for safe keeping.[18]

Portrait de Monsieur Jean Journet by Gustave Courbet, 1850, one of the works found in the Salzburg portion of the collection; location previously unknown since 1914.

Gurlitt repeatedly requested the return of his collection but did not obtain legal representation until December 2013 when a Munich court appointed an official "Custodian" on his behalf, Christoph Edel, who initiated action against the Prosecutor's Office for the return of the collection to Gurlitt. Gurlitt also told Edel about the additional artworks stored at his Salzburg address; Edel was given permission by Gurlitt to remove these for safe keeping, a task which was carried out in February 2014. This portion of the collection, numbering 254 items contained works by Monet, Renoir, Gauguin, Liebermann, Toulouse-Lautrec, Courbet, Cézanne, Munch and Manet, some of extremely high quality, and were removed to a secure location where their provenance could be investigated further; the Augsburg Prosecutor's Office would not have access to them.[19] Access to the Salzburg works was provided, in an "secret location", to BBC reporter Stephen Evans, who showed some of them in a brief video segment made available by the BBC in March 2014.[20] One painting, "Portrait de Monsieur Jean Journet" by Gustave Courbet, had disappeared in 1914 and had previously been believed to have been lost in the second world war.[21]

In April 2014, Edel obtained an agreement with the Augsburg prosecutor 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 any stolen pieces to the rightful owners which Gurlitt signed.[22] However, Gurlitt was by then very ill and died on 6 May 2014, never seeing the paintings again.[23] 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.[24][25]

Schwabing Art Trove Task Force, and successors[edit]

An entity called the Schwabinger Kunstfund (Schwabing Art Trove) Task Force was set up in November 2013 under the direction of Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel to research the provenance of the paintings in the Gurlitt trove. However, after several years of operations it was widely criticized for having few results and little visibility.[26] The taskforce initially identified around 590 works as "possibly looted", but after two years of research had published provenance reports on only five items from the collection; under a flood of criticism, the taskforce was disbanded in December 2015. "We are disappointed," said Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress.[27][28][29] Its activities and some of its personnel were passed to a new "Centre for Lost Cultural Property", project name "Gurlitt Provenance Research", under the direction of Dr. Andrea Baresel-Brand.[30]

By December 2018, the Gurlitt Provenance Research project reported that it had completed its activities, with the results being presented on the German Lost Art Foundation website.[31] 1,039 items were investigated; of these, 315 were identified as confiscated from German museums during the "degenerate art" campaign, and thus not subject to suspicion of looting, so their responsibility could be passed directly to the Kunstmuseum Bern. The remaining 724 were assessed according to a "traffic light" system: green for works "proven or highly likely not to be Nazi-looted art" (28 items); yellow for "provenance during the period between 1933 and 1945 is not entirely clear; there are gaps in the provenance", i.e., requiring further investigation (650 items); and red for works "proven or highly likely to be Nazi-looted art" (4 items). A further 42 works were not reviewed, but also believed not to represent looted artworks, either because they could be assigned to additional works known to originate from German museums (22 items), be commercially mass produced goods (2 items), or have a reasonable explanation for their presence in Gurlitt family holdings, for example being created by family members, and/or created after 1945 (18 items). These "traffic light" categorizations are carried through to the complete lists of items as published on the Kunstmuseum Bern website.

Death of Cornelius Gurlitt, and after[edit]

Cornelius Gurlitt died on 6 May 2014.[32] In his will, written shortly before his death, Cornelius named the Museum of Fine Arts Bern (Kunstmuseum Bern) in Switzerland as his sole heir.[24] People close to Gurlitt told an American newspaper that he decided to give the collection to a foreign institution because he felt that Germany had treated him and his father badly.[33] The legacy included the paintings Cornelius' had kept in Salzburg, which German authorities had not confiscated because their remit did not extend to property held in Austria. His decision created further controversy over the appropriateness of the museum accepting this bequest. The will stipulated that the museum would be required to research the provenance of the paintings and make restitution as appropriate.[34] The museum decided to initially accept only those works for which original legal ownership by the Gurlitts could be established, including items acquired from the "degenerate art" collection and those passed down from other family members, and has entered into a joint agreement with German and Swiss authorities about the further researching of items in this bequest.

Cornelius' family (cousins) also entered the discussion, raising questions about the legality of the will, based on his state of mind at the time. His cousin, Uta Werner, filed a claim of inheritance on the artwork. Werner's lawyer, Wolfgang Seybold, argued that Gurlitt's relatives were the rightful heirs, however this claim was rejected by relevant authorities.[35] Around 590 pieces remain in Germany pending further investigation to determine whether they were confiscated from individuals under the Nazi regime, and a further 380 have been definitively identified as removed from museums by the Nazis as "degenerate art" so will pass to Bern without further obstruction.[36]

Art objects continued to surface after Cornelius' death. In July 2014, a new discovery was made in his Munich apartment: a Rodin marble and a Degas sculpture, along with some Roman, Greek, Egyption and Asian objects, which had been missed when the apartment was originally searched in 2012.[37][38] In September, an early pastel landscape by Claude Monet was discovered in a suitcase Gurlitt had left in the last hospital where he had stayed.[39]

Legal issues[edit]

German newspapers questioned the prosecutor's right to seize the collection.[40][41] Property rights in cases of works of art acquired during the Nazi period are highly complex.[42] After the war the Nazi law legalizing possession of stolen works of "degenerate art" was deliberately upheld by the Allied Control Council in order that the trade in artworks could continue.[43]

Unlike in Austria,[44] there is no law in effect in Germany requiring the return of Nazi-looted art, as long as the items in question can be proven to have been, at any point in time, legally acquired. As signatories of the 1998 Washington Agreement, Germany agreed that all of its public institutions would check their inventories for Nazi-looted goods and return them if found. However, this is on a strictly voluntary basis and, 15 years later, very few museums and libraries[45] have done so. Individuals are under no legal requirement whatsoever to return Nazi-looted art. A failure on the part of the German government to return the rightful possessions of Cornelius Gurlitt might have been a violation of his property rights as guaranteed in the German constitution.[46]

On 4 December 2013, prominent German art historian Sibylle Ehringhaus, who was one of the first experts to view the artworks in the spring of 2012, gave an interview in the newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine, demanding the immediate return of the complete collection to Gurlitt. However, she had looked at the works very briefly and had not researched their provenance because, as she stated in the interview, "Cornelius Gurlitt commissioned neither myself nor anyone else" to perform such research. Chief Prosecutor Reinhard Nemetz vehemently denied her appeal, yet apparently failed to cite any concrete legal grounds for the seizure.[47][48]

On 20 November 2014, the German jurist Jutta Limbach, the head of the Limbach Commission on Nazi-looted art, confirmed the opinion of the German Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that the Bavarian "State Prosecutor used an incorrect application of the tax liability law to seize" the artworks of Cornelius Gurlitt.[49]

November 2014 and onwards[edit]

Swiss Museum acceptance[edit]

On 24 November 2014, the Museum of Fine Arts in Bern agreed to accept the Gurlitt estate. Museum officials stated that no art looted by the Nazis would be permitted to enter the museum's collection.[50] Some 500 works were to remain in Germany until their rightful owners could be identified.

Works identified for return to original owners[edit]

Three pieces were singled out for immediate return: Henri Matisse's Femme Assise to the descendants of the Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg, Max Liebermann's Two Riders on the Beach to the great-nephew of the industrialist and art collector David Friedmann, and Carl Spitzweg's Playing the Piano to the heirs of music publisher Henri Hinrichsen, who was murdered at Auschwitz.[51] Two Riders on the Beach was subsequently auctioned at Sotheby's, London in June 2015,[52] where it fetched the unexpectedly high price of almost 1.9 million pounds.[53] In 2017, it was announced that the Camille Pissarro painting La Seine vue du Pont-Neuf, au fond le Louvre, found in Gurlitt's Salzburg house had been restituted to the heirs of Max Heilbronn, a Paris businessmen from whom it had been confiscated in 1942,[54] and that a drawing by Adolph von Menzel Interior of a Gothic Church had been returned to the descendants of Elsa Helene Cohen.[55] In October 2017 it was announced that a painting by Thomas Couture had been identified as a looted work and would be returned to the descendants of the original owner,[56] and in September 2018 four drawings by the artists Charles-Dominique-Joseph Eisen, Augustin de Saint-Aubin and Anne Vallayer-Coster that were among items previously sold by Benita Gurlitt were identified as originally stolen and would also be returned by their new owner.[57] In March 2019, it was announced that the paint­ing Quai de Clichy by Paul Signac, purchased by Hildebrand Gurlitt in Paris in the 1940s, had also been identified as Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed art, having been seized in 1940 by German soldiers from the apartment of French re­al es­tate bro­ker Gas­ton Pros­per Lévy, and that "a claim has been reg­is­tered for the re­turn of the paint­ing".[58][59]

A slightly different case was presented by Paul Cézanne's 1897 painting La Montagne Sainte-Victoire, possibly the most prestigious in the entire trove, which was known to have been in the Cézanne family in 1940, and appeared in Gurlitt's holdings some time between then and 1947, when Gurlitt mentions the painting in a letter, however its status as a looted item was not able to be unequivocally established. In 2018 in what has been described as a "historic agreement", Cézanne's great-grandson has acknowledged the Bern museum's ownership of the work in exchange for the ability to exhibit it in the artist's hometown; exhibition rights to the painting will thus be shared between the Kunstmuseum Bern and the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence.[60]

Public displays[edit]

The first public display of pieces from the Gurlitt Collection took place at an exhibition curated by the Bern Fine Art Museum, running from November 2017 to March 2018, which featured 160 works from the Cornelius Gurlitt bequest, which had previously formed part of the original 1937 "degenerate art" exhibition.[50][61] Concurrently, an exhibition of some 250 works whose status was uncertain was displayed in Bonn, Germany, entitled "Gurlitt: Status Report - An Art Dealer in Nazi Germany", including works from Dürer to Monet and from Cranach to Kirchner and Rodin; both shows were then scheduled to travel to be displayed at the Martin-Gropius-Bau exhibition hall in Berlin.[62] Portions of the Bern exhibition can be seen on this video,[63] while excerpts of the Berlin exhibition can be viewed here.[64] Links to the catalogues for both exhibitions are given below, in the "Further reading" section.


The content of the collection previously in the possession of Cornelius Gurlitt has been gradually documented over the several years since its rediscovery, especially since November 2014 when the Museum of Fine Arts in Bern legally accepted the Gurlitt estate. Two listings, which are believed to be complete, are available online, one for the items originally in the Munich location (approximately 1,350 records) and one for the Salzburg items (254 records). The lists are described as "works in progress" and are subject to update or amendment as new information is available; the Munich list runs to 196 pages, and the Salzburg list runs to 95 pages.

In addition to the works owned by Cornelius, his sister Benita inherited some works from the collection; reportedly, in 2013, 22 of these were voluntarily surrendered to police for "safe keeping" by the by-then deceased Benita's husband, Nikolaus Fräßle, previously kept at their home in Stuttgart.[65][18] Details of these works have not been released except that they included four medieval paintings which belonged to Cornelius, which were then added to his estate.[66] Benita had also consigned some items for sale at a previous date, including four drawings, originally the property of the Jewish Deutsch de la Meurthe family in Paris, which were voluntarily returned to representatives of the family in 2018 by the unnamed present owner (see above section "Works identified for return to original owners").

Other paintings which had previously been in the collection but sold prior to its 2012 rediscovery included a Paul Klee sold by Hildebrandt in 1950, the Picasso Portrait of a Woman with Two Noses and two items by Rudolf Sclichter and Georg Schrimpf sold by Helene in 1960 as noted above, Beckmann's Bar, Brown and The Lion Tamer by Cornelius, and Macke's Woman with a Parrot, probably by Benita. The eleven works sold by Cornelius in 1988 included a Degas pastel and items by Otto Dix, Erich Heckel, Christian Rohlfs, Max Pechstein and Otto Müller; according to gallery owner Eberhard Kornfeld, Cornelius also sold four other works on paper via him in 1990, originally from the 1937 "degenerate art" holdings.[67]

Descriptions of individual artworks from the Collection include:[18][68][69][70][71]

Other works in the collection are by Gurlitt family members, which include 90 by Cornelius' great-grandfather, the landscape painter Louis Gurlitt, and 130 by Cornelia Gurlitt, Cornelius' aunt, a talented but relatively unknown artist who died in tragic circumstances in 1919.[72] A page of putative drawings by Henry Moore, also in the collection, was investigated in an episode of the BBC TV programme Fake or Fortune? and found to be not only genuine, but also had been legitimately purchased from an exhibition by the artist in 1932.[73]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hickley, 2015: pp. 46-47, 128-129.
  2. ^ Victoria and Albert Museum (2014). "Entartete" Kunst: digital reproduction of a typescript inventory prepared by the Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, ca. 1941/1942. London: Victoria and Albert Museum. (V&A NAL MSL/1996/7)
  3. ^ Feliciano, Hector (1998). "The Lost Museum". Bonjour Paris. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  4. ^ Hickley, 2015: pp. 78-85
  5. ^ For the actual sworn statement see
  6. ^ Hickley, 2015: pp. 112, 117.
  7. ^ Hickley, 2015: pp. 125-127.
  8. ^ Hickley, 2015: pp. 127-128.
  9. ^ Hickley, 2015, pp. 153-154.
  10. ^ "Fahnder entdecken 1500 Werke von Picasso, Chagall und weiteren Künstlern". Focus. 3 November 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  11. ^ Mazzoni, Ira (3 November 2013). "Depot mit Nazi-Raubkunst in München". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  12. ^ Eddy, Melissa. "German Officials Provide Details on Looted Art Trove". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  13. ^ a b Oltermann, Philip (3 November 2013). "German police recover 1,500 modernist masterpieces 'looted by Nazis'". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  14. ^ Pontz, Zach (3 November 2013). "Artworks Worth $1.6 Billion, Stolen by Nazis, Discovered in German Apartment". the algemeiner. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  15. ^ "German Lost Art Foundation - Gurlitt Provenance Research".
  16. ^ "Nazi-looted art: German collector says he owns pictures". BBC News. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  17. ^ Gezer, Õzlem (17 November 2013). "Interview with a Phantom: Cornelius Gurlitt Shares the Secrets of His Pictures". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  18. ^ a b c "German police check new art haul near Stuttgart". BBC News. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  19. ^ Hickley, 2015, pp. 188-192.
  20. ^ Cornelius Gurlitt: One lonely man and his hoard of stolen Nazi art
  21. ^ Willette, Jeanne, c.2015: "Rediscovering a Long-Lost Courbet: Rethinking Courbet's "Jean Journet"
  22. ^ R, D (7 April 2014). "Gurlitt reaches deal with German authorities over vast trove of art". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  23. ^ "Cornelius Gurlitt - obituary". Telegraph. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  24. ^ a b "'Nazi art' hoarder Gurlitt makes Swiss museum sole heir". BBC News. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  25. ^ "Artnet news, Alexander Forbes, Will Germany Keep Gurlitt's Trove from the Swiss?". 8 May 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  26. ^ Welle (, Deutsche. "Task force investigating art trove inherited from Nazi collector achieved 'embarrassing' results | DW | 26.11.2015". DW.COM.
  27. ^ "TASKFORCE ::Chronology".
  28. ^ "Kunstmuseum Bern tritt Gurlitt-Erbe an".
  29. ^ Meier, Oliver (23 October 2015). "Lässt sich Bern die grosse Gurlitt-Ausstellung wegschnappen?" – via
  30. ^ Gurlitt Case: 5 January 2016: Germany's Lost Art Foundation has announced it will take over the provenance research into the Gurlitt collection
  31. ^ Gurlitt Provenance Research project: Results to date
  32. ^ "'Nazi art' hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt, 81, dies". BBC. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  33. ^ Lane, Mary M. (20 November 2014). "Swiss Museum Close to Accepting Trove of Nazi Art". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  34. ^ Lane, p. A12.
  35. ^ agencies, swissinfo ch and agencies , swissinfo ch and. "Gurlitt art collection can finally head to Bern". SWI
  36. ^ "Schwabing art trove: Provenance of treasures to be researched alongside criminal proceedings – suspicious works being publicised at" (Press release). the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice, the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Science and the Arts, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. 11 November 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  37. ^ "Possible Rodin and Degas works found at Gurlitt home". BBC. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  38. ^ Hickley, 2015, p. 231.
  39. ^ "Cornelius Gurlitt: Monet found in art hoarder's suitcase". BBC. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  40. ^ Voss, Julia (17 November 2013). "Münchner Kunstfund: Wo bleibt der Rechtsstaat?". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German).
  41. ^ Politische Strafjustiz (in German) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 25 November 2013, by Volker Rieble.
  42. ^ Dittmar, Peter (7 November 2013). "Verbrechen lohnt sich". Jüdische Allgemeine (in German).. This article refers in particular to works of degenerate art, whose confiscation had been formalized by a Nazi law. Gesetz über Einziehung von Erzeugnissen entarteter Kunst (Act on the Confiscation of Works of Degenerate Art) of 31 May 1938
  43. ^ Heuer, Carl-Heinz (undated). "Die eigentumsrechtliche Problematik der entarteten Kunst" – "The problems surrounding ownership rights to degenerate art" Archived 2 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine (bilingual), on the website of the Free University of Berlin
  44. ^ Kunstrückgabegesetz 1998 (Art Return Law 1998) See the German Wikipedia entry for details.
  45. ^ The Central and Regional Library of Berlin is the only library in Germany to have full-time staff devoted to the search for Nazi-looted cultural goods.
  46. ^ Fluch des Schatzes (Curse of the Treasure) in Der Zeit, 21 November 2013 (in German). "German museums are accordingly, albeit rather hesitantly, searching for looted art in their collections, and from time to time works are returned. This is cumbersome, mostly unspectacular and takes far too long, but it is still the right way. But Cornelius Gurlitt is a private person, and therefore the principles of the Washington Agreement do not apply to his artworks. He cannot be forced, and it appears the government wants to seize the works, which is hardly possible in the face of the constitution."
  47. ^ See Interview: Kunstexpertin fordert Rückgabe aller Bilder an Gurlitt, Augsburger Allgemeine, 4 December 2012 (in German) or a translation Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine of the article in English.
  48. ^ Augsburger Staatsanwaltschaft weist Vorwürfe der Kunstexpertin zurück Augsburger Allgemeine, 5 December 2012 (in German)
  49. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung, Ein Bild lässt sich abhangen, Schuld nicht (in German; English: "A picture may be taken down, but not the guilt"), interview by Heribert Prantl and Kia Vahland, 20 November 2014, p. 19.
  50. ^ a b Neuendorf, Henri (10 July 2017). "The Notorious Gurlitt Trove of Nazi-Tainted Art Makes Its First Appearance at Kunstmuseum Bern". Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  51. ^ "Swiss museum to accept Gurlitt 'Nazi art'". BBC News. 24 November 2014.
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Further reading[edit]


  • Hickley, Catherine. "The Munich Art Hoard: Hitler's Dealer and his Secret Legacy." Thames & Hudson, London, 2015, 272 pp. ISBN 9780500292570
  • Ronald, Susan. "Hitler's Art Thief: Hildebrand Gurlitt, the Nazis, and the Looting of Europe's Treasures." St. Martin's Press, New York, 400 pp. ISBN 9781250061096
  • Collins, Jacob R. "The Gurlitt Trove: Its Past, Present and Future". Undergraduate Thesis, University of Vermont, 2016, 54 pp.

External links[edit]