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Nazi art cache includes Renoir, Picasso and 16th century pieces

November 06, 2013|By David Ng
  • An artwork of Antonio Canaletto is shown on a computer screen during a news conference in Augsburg in southern Germany on Tuesday.
An artwork of Antonio Canaletto is shown on a computer screen during a news… (Kerstin Joensson / Associated…)

As details emerged this week about a discovered cache of art that is believed to have been looted by the Nazis during World War II, officials in Germany have revealed that the trove includes works by Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso and Chagall.

The cache also includes rarely seen 16th century pieces by German artist Albrecht Dürer and the 18th century Italian painter Canaletto. The Times reported Tuesday that the trove contains 1,406 pieces as revealed by German officials at a news conference in the city of Augsburg. 

Early last year German authorities seized 121 framed and 1,285 unframed works from the Munich apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of the well-known Nazi-era art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt. Officials kept the raid secret but an article that appeared over the weekend in the German magazine Focus revealed the art stash to the public.

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Focus originally reported that the raid took place in 2011. The magazine estimated the value of the recovered art to be around $1.3 billion.

Many of the works discovered in Gurlitt's apartment fell under the rubrick of "degenerate art" by Adolf Hitler, a term used to describe modern art that was felt to be too Jewish in nature or un-German in spirit.

Documenting and authenticating the pieces could take years, according to the Times' report. The works are believed to be in relatively good condition and are being stored in an undisclosed location near Munich.

Other works found in the cache include a piece attributed to Matisse and a self-portrait by German artist Otto Dix.


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