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Matise, Seated Woman
As reported by ArtDaily from an article by Deborah Cole for Agence France- Presse, a trove of more than 1,400 works of art worth an estimated $1.35 billion, was discovered in the Munich apartment of 80 year old Cornelius Gurlitt.
Gurlitt is the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, one of a handful of dealers tasked by the Nazis with selling confiscated, looted and extorted works in exchange for hard currency. While he sold many of the pieces, he kept a large trove for himself. Most of the collection was believed lost or destroyed but surfaced during a routine customs investigation at Gurlitt’s flat in February 2012 and was confiscated. The more than 1,400 works are currently in storage at a secret location. German authorities kept the case under wraps, arguing that they did not want to set off a deluge of fraudulent ownership claims for the hoard, which includes works by Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Renoir and Delacroix. Jewish families and museums saying that paintings in the stash were taken from them more than 60 years ago. have criticised the fact that it took a German magazine, Focus weekly, [site] to bring the spectacular find to light this month.
THE INTERNET – THE OLD NEW MEDIA
There is continued pressure on the German Government to post more of the art works especially since the trove was discovered in February, 2012, and only made public in November 2013 when disclosed by Focus magazine.
This blog is dedicated to reporting on Fine Art in the New Media. The internet, to most people is probably the oldest form of the the New Media. Surely, such a discovery requires complete transparency, and there is no better place than posting each work with complete details on the internet, available to anyone in the world who may have a claim on the works.
Authorities have posted pictures of 25 of the pieces on the Lost Art Internet Database, www.lostart.de.
The LostArt site describes the Nazi connection to the works:
In the spring of 2012, an extensive art collection was seized in Munich. Within the context of the subsequent investigative research, the first, time-consuming step of identifying the secured works was carried out.
Apart from the seized objects that clearly bear no relation to so-called ‘Degenerate Art’ or ‘Nazi-Stolen Art’, approximately 970 works were and are to be examined. Approximately 380 of these works have been identified as seized works of so-called ‘Degenerate Art’ that were confiscated by the National Socialists within the context of the so-called “Degenerate Art” campaign of 1937.
With regard to the remaining works, among other things it is to be examined whether these were confiscated due to Nazi persecution (so-called “Nazi-Stolen Art”). Against this background, investigations into approximately 590 works have begun regarding such confiscation due to Nazi persecution.
These investigations have so far revealed reasonable grounds for suspecting that the following objects were confiscated due to Nazi persecution.In the spring of 2012, an extensive art collection was seized in Munich. Within the context of the subsequent investigative research, the first, time-consuming step of identifying the secured works was carried out.
A reproduction of a painting by German painter Franz Marc titled ‘Landscape with horses’ is seen during a press conference in Augsburg, southern Germany, on November 5, 2013, on the discovery of nearly 1,500 paintings including works by Picasso and Matisse looted by the Nazis. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOF STACHE
We believe that true transparency requires all of the works to be posted on the internet.