Swiss Museum Sole Heir in Will of Art Collector Cornelius Gurlitt

Hildebrand Gurlitt originally assembled his son Cornelius's collection. Photograph: AP

Hildebrand Gurlitt originally assembled his son Cornelius’s collection. Photograph: AP

Several works in his collection suspected of having been looted from Jewish families during Nazi era

For The GuardianPhilip Oltermann writes: A Swiss museum has inherited one of the most controversial art collections in recent European history. Kunstmuseum Bern confirmed on Wednesday it has been named the “unrestricted and unfettered sole heir” in the will of the reclusive collector Cornelius Gurlitt, who died on Tuesday.

[See also: Oops! Nazi-Looted Art Found in German Parliament]

Several works in the collection, which was originally assembled by Gurlitt’s father Hildebrand, are suspected of having been looted from Jewish families during the Nazi era. A taskforce of art experts is examining the provenance of the works in a secret location in Germany until the end of the year.

[See also: First glimpse of newly uncovered, Nazi looted art collection released on German website]

Kunstmuseum Bern’s director, Matthias Frehner, said in a statement: that the news had come “like a bolt from the blue”, since Gurlitt had at no time had any connection to the museum. Already boasting works by Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee, the museum could soon be showing paintings and sketches by Claude Monet,Pierre-Auguste RenoirMarc Chagall, Oskar Kokoschka and Max Liebermann among others.

Frehner said: “The Board of Trustees and Directors of Kunstmuseum Bern are surprised and delighted, but at the same time do not wish to conceal the fact that this magnificent bequest brings with it a considerable burden of responsibility and a wealth of questions of the most difficult and sensitive kind, and questions in particular of a legal and ethical nature.”

Chris Marinello, a London-based art recovery expert representing the descendants of the Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg, welcomed the news…(read more)

The Guardian


2 Comments on “Swiss Museum Sole Heir in Will of Art Collector Cornelius Gurlitt”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet Several works in his collection suspected of having been looted from Jewish families during Nazi […]


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