Video: A treasure trove of art stolen by the Nazis has been recovered in an unexpected place. Global National’s Mike Armstrong explains.
TORONTO – The German government says it is helping Bavarian prosecutors investigate a huge art find related to pieces that may have been seized by the Nazis from Jews during World War II.
Focus magazine reported Sunday that about 1,500 works by such masters as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Emil Nolde were found in a Munich apartment in early 2011.
According to Reuters, some of the art found may
have been on display in German museums during the war, then removed because Hitler’s Third Reich considered them “degenerate.”
Asked about the Focus report on Monday, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said authorities in Berlin are aware of the case and are supplying “advice from experts in the field of Nazi-looted art.”
The art stash, if confirmed, could be worth over $1.35 billion, Focus said.
“This is extraordinarily significant, if confirmed,” Monika Tatzkow, a provenance researcher and author of several books on Nazi-looted art, told Bloomberg.
Investigators came across the artwork while executing a search warrant in the apartment of suspected tax evader Cornelius Gurlitt, son of art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, who brought the paintings from Germany during the late 1930s and early 1940s, according to Focus.
“This is possibly the biggest story of art recovered from World War II since the Austrians unveiled 10,000 pictures gathered in monasteries down the Danube River, three years ago,” art historian Godfrey Barker told the BBC.
–with a file from the Associated Press
© Shaw Media, 2013