The German tax authorities who seized an art collection worth $100m have published a further 100 works of art online in hope that they will be identified by their rightful owners. Masterworks by Munch, Picasso, Cezanne and Degas, most likely looted or extorted by the Nazis from Jewish collectors. The works are now available to view on an internationally accessible data base. Pictures and titles have been published so that rightful owners can stake claims.
The trove was discovered in a Munich flat in February 2012 but it only went public when a magazine exposed the true extent of the collection.1,400 works were found after 80-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt was stopped by customs at the German Swiss boarder. He was found to be carrying a fortune in cash. Gurlitt was the son of an important art dealer hired by the Nazis to value and sell works that they had seized in exchange for hard currency. He was also part of a team helping Hitler build a “Fuehrer Museum” in the Austrian city of Linz. It was never realised.
Mr. Gurlitt is currently under investigation and hasn’t been charged with any crime, a spokesman for the Augsburg public prosecutor said Thursday. He couldn’t however be reached for comment.
219 Works of art can be found on the website HERE