Saturday, 08. March 2014
18. 02. 14. - 14:00
The art collector who hoarded away over a thousand masterpieces by the likes of Picasso, Renoir and Monet in homes in Munich and Salzburg has put his version of events online.
Some of the paintings stored by Cornelius Gurlitt in Munich were believed to have been taken from their original Jewish owners during the Nazi era of looting 'degenerate art'.
Gurlitt inherited the pieces from his father Hildebrand Gurlitt who was an art dealer working during the time of the Nazis.
The discovery of the paintings sparked discussions by governments about the best way to handle looted artwork, particularly those stolen under authority of the Nazis. Now, two years after the paintings were unearthed in Munich in February 2012 Cornelius Gurlitt has written of his desire to live with his pictures, "in peace and tranquillity".
"Almost two years ago my pictures were seized and since November last year there has been much public discussion," he wrote on the website www.gurlitt.info. "Much of what has been reported about my collection and me is not right or contains something wrong."
He explains the website is a place for himself, his lawyers and representatives to provide information to help further objective discussion of the collection and Gurlitt himself.
According to Gurlitt's lawyers, he is happy to enter discussions with possible descendants
of original Jewish owners about returning artworks, although they believe this is only relevant to 3% of the 1,280 pieces discovered. None of the paintings found in Austria match descriptions of looted art although art experts are calling for the release of more details about the collection.
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