BBC Gets Secret Tour of Cornelius Gurlitt’s Seized Art Trove

Video still of BBC correspondent Stephen Evans visiting the secret storage facility that currently houses the Cornelius Gurlitt art collection.
Video still of BBC correspondent Stephen Evans visiting the secret storage facility that currently houses the Cornelius Gurlitt art collection.

The BBC is offering an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the confiscated art collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, currently being stored in what correspondent Stephen Evans describes as “a room so secret, I can’t even tell you what city it’s in.”

During a Feburary 2012 raid, the German government seized Gurlitt’s collection of 1,280 works, at least some of which were stolen from Jewish collectors by Nazis during World War II. Evans describes the collection as “an artistic treasure trove, and also, and absolute legal nightmare.”

The video, clocking in at just over a minute and a half, features canvases by Courbet, Manet, Monet, and Renoir, as well at least one painting currently undergoing restoration thanks to the less-than-ideal storage conditions the priceless collection was subjected to over the decades.

While Gurlitt initially maintained that all the paintings were his rightful possessions, he has since changed his tune. As reported by artnet News yesterday, Gurlitt will return one artwork to the heirs of the original owner. No word if it will be Two Riders on the Beach by Max Liebermann, subject of a recently-filed lawsuit.


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