More possibly Nazi-looted art removed from Gurlitt home in Austria

BERLIN (JTA) – Another cache of valuable art possibly looted by the Nazis was discovered at the Austria home of Cornelius Gurlitt.

On Monday, a collection of 60 works by such artists as Renoir, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, Liebermann, Monet and Manet was removed from the Salzburg home to a secret location, where experts are examining their provenance.

Gurlitt told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily newspaper that the Salzburg collection is worth far more than the 1,400 works confiscated from him nearly two years ago in Munich in the course of an investigation for tax evasion. In Germany, a task force is investigating the Munich collection, and photos of at least one-third of the works have been displayed on the government-sponsored lost-art website.

The Austria collection will remain hidden, according to Gurlitt’s attorney Hannes Hartung, who told Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the works would not be shown to the German task force.

Gurlitt thanked Austria for agreeing to hold the Salzburg collection in an undisclosed location while their provenance is checked, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.

“We applaud the Austrian authorities for their respect for private property,” Hartung said.

Gurlitt has decried the German decision to display works from the Munich collection online in an attempt to discover if any were stolen from Jews or from museums during the Nazi period. He claims it is a violation of his privacy. Many of the works may legally belong to Gurlitt.

Gurlitt’s father, Hildebrand, was a collector whom the Nazi authorities designated to procure works for German museums and for profit. In the immediate postwar years, U.S. military authorities confiscated works in Hildebrand Gurlitt’s possession, but then released them. His son eventually inherited the collection.

 

NEXT STORY