Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cache of 'Degenerate Art' Found


In 2011, Bavarian customs police searched the home of Cornelius Gurlitt and found a cache of “lost” paintings estimated to be valued at one billion Euros.

Gurlitt, 80, is the son of well-known art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt.  The Munich art dealer is said to have bought the collection of some 1,500 works at knock-down prices after the Nazis came to power.  The Nazis confiscated or stole the paintings, categorizing them as “degenerate art.”  The cache includes works from world-renowned artists such as Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall.

The younger Gurlitt is believed to have hoarded the paintings for half a century in his squalid apartment and is suspected of selling some works and living off the proceeds.

See Tony Paterson, Looted by the Nazis, Found in a Squalid Apartment: 1Bn Cache of ‘Degenerate Art’, The Independent, Nov. 3, 2013; see also Robert W. Wood, Found Nazi Art Valued at $1B Is Worth How Much After Tax?, Forbes, Nov. 3, 2013.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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