Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

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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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