Gurlitt Closes the Book on the Munich Art Trove

Cornelius Gurlitt. Photo: Markus Hannich.

The German public may still be in fervor over Cornelius Gurlitt‘s trove of Nazi looted art, but six months after the world learned of the 1,300 or so paintings hidden away in his Munich apartment, Gurlitt himself is closing the book on the case. Speaking to the dpa on Tuesday, Gurlitt’s lawyers said that their appeal against the Bavarian government’s seizure of Gurlitt’s art collection is at its end. “We have achieved what we wanted,” a spokesperson told the news agency.

The announcement comes after an agreement was reached on April 7th, which provides that Gurlitt will receive back a large portion of the collection not deemed to be eligible for restitution. As part of that agreement, he will however have to return a number of works to the heirs of their former owners. Among those is a Matisse, which has subsequently had a second claimant come forward as its true heir.

It is unclear when exactly Gurlitt will receive back the balance of the collection left to him by his father, who was one of three dealers enlisted by the Nazi regime to sell degenerate art outside of the country. Under the April 7th agreement, the state has one year to complete their provenance research of the collection’s works.

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