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Germany Reveals More Info on Nazi-Looted Art

After last week's discovery of nearly 1,500 works of art in a Munich apartment, the German government has begun to release details surrounding the Nazi-looted art

By: Daniel Koren
Published: November 12th, 2013 in News » World
A painting discovered at Cornelius Gurlitt's Munich apartment

Following the news that two Dutch museums were housing art that may have been stolen by the Nazis, approximately 140 to be precise, last week, an even bigger stash of Nazi-looted art was discovered in a Munich apartment.

Worth an approximate $1.4 billion, close to 1,500 pieces of art were found, the majority of which were claimed to have been stolen from Jewish families by the Nazis during World War II.

Now, as pressure continues to mount from Jewish groups and art agencies, the German government has begun to release details surrounding the art, putting together a task force with the sole objective of locating the true heirs to the stolen property.

The Germans reportedly knew about the paintings for approximately 2 years, and have remained silent on the subject until now.


(Photo: EPA)

The government has stated that anywhere from 590 -970 of the pieces of art were most likely stolen by the Nazis, and have featured 25 of those works on the website www.lostart.de. Paintings listed on the site include Otto Dox's "The Woman in the Theater Box," and Max Liebermann's "Rider on the Beach."

The site will reportedly be updated on a daily basis, to showcase more paintings that were discovered in the Munich apartment belonging to 80-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt, including paintings by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

Gurlitt's whereabouts are currently unclear; he is currently facing tax evasion, though many experts have claimed he may be able to keep the art.


(Photo: EPA)

Many Jewish art collectors were forced to sell their paintings as the Third Reich movement gained momentum in Europe; many, however, had their art stolen from them upon being sent to deportation camps.

Responding to the many Jewish agencies that have reported on the incident, German Chancellor Angela Merkel released an official statement, saying the German government heeds their concerns to return the art to its rightful owners.

“We can well understand that especially Jewish organizations are asking many questions. They represent older people who were treated very badly,” said a spokesman for Merkel, Steffen Seibert.


(Photo: EPA)

The German task force will consist of art experts and scholars, who have noted that close to 400 of the newly discovered art works were stolen and sold to the Nazis.

One painting in particular, a Matisse original of a woman sitting down, was reportedly stolen by the Nazis from a French bank in 1942.

Related articles: Nazi, Looted Art, Germany, Jewish News, Holocaust, Matisse, Picasso, Cornelius Gurlitt
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