Israel and Germany Join Forces to Return Nazi-Looted Art to Heirs

Max Liebermann, Two Riders on a Beach (1901). One of the paintings found in Cornelius Gurlitt's possession. Photo: Christof Stache, courtesy Agence France-Presse/Public Prosecutor's Office Augsburg.
Max Liebermann, Two Riders on a Beach (1901). One of the paintings found in Cornelius Gurlitt's possession. Photo by Christof Stache, courtesy of the Public Prosecutor's Office Augsburg.

The search for Jewish-owned art looted by the Nazis during World War Two continues with a joint effort between Germany and Israel, the AFP reports. The two countries will be conducting joint research in museums in order to determine the original owners of works looted by Nazis, following an agreement signed on Sunday.

The agreement was made between Israeli culture ministry director general Orly Froman and German culture minister Monika Gruetters. It states that joint databases will be created along with training of art experts in the two countries. “The cooperation between German and Israeli institutions on provenance research of Nazi-confiscated art and Judaica is a great vote of confidence,” Gruetters told the AFP.

A statement from the Israeli culture minister Limor Livnat adds that the ongoing cooperation between the two countries includes two Israeli curators in a German committee that is presently dealing with around 1,300 pieces of art, including alleged Nazi loot, found in the Munich flat of Cornelius Gurlitt, who died this May. The Gurlitt collection includes the Henri Matisse portrait painting Seated Woman/Woman Sitting in Armchair (1921), which was found to belong to the French collector and dealer Paul Rosenberg.

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