Is Munich Pinakothek Harboring Nazi Loot?

The Neue Pinakothek in Munich Photo: Nicholas Even via Wikimedia Commons
The Neue Pinakothek in Munich Photo: Nicholas Even via Wikimedia Commons

 

Provenance researchers at the Pinakothek in Munich have posted 14 new works to Germany’s online clearing house for potential Nazi loot, Lost Art, the dpa reports. The 10 paintings and four sculptures reported once belonged to Hitler’s close confidant, Max Amann. The museum received the works in 1945.

According to representatives of the Bavarian State Painting Collections, the artworks may very well have come to Amann through legitimate means. The listing on Lost Art is merely an exploratory measure to see whether any legitimate claims of prior ownership, which would warrant restitution of the work works, arise. Thus far they have been unable to exclude that the works could be loot.

The announcement by the Pinakothek on Thursday followed another by German commissioner of culture, Monika Grütters, praising the record number of applications for provenance research assistance. In the first half of the year, Grütters’ office received a total of 29 applications for longterm assistance in provenance research. Twenty of those applications were approved.

Following the discovery of nearly 1,300 potential pieces of Nazi loot in the apartment of now-dead collector, Cornelius Gurlitt, public pressure to purge Germany’s collections of loot lead Grütters to double the funding annually allocated to provenance research. Earlier this week, a judge declared one of the most high-profile pieces found in Gurlitt’s apartment was indeed Nazi loot and should be returned the heirs of its previous owner. The work by Henri Matisse was taken from Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg.


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