Berlin returned all works from the Gurlitt collection stolen by the Nazis

In 2012, during a customs operation, the authorities discovered the collection of more than 1,500 works hidden for decades by Cornelius Gurlitt.A case with international repercussions.

Germany has returned to its owners all 14 works of art by collector Cornelius Gurlitt identified as having been stolen from Jews under the Third Reich, the Ministry of Culture announced on Wednesday (January 13th).

A drawing by the German poet and painter Carl Spitzweg entitled Das Klavierspiel, was sent on January 12 to the auction house Christie's at the wish of the heirs of Henri Hinrichsen, a music publisher of the Jewish faith murdered in Auschwitz in 1942.L The work was stolen from him by the Nazis in 1939 and bought the following year by Hildebrand Gurlitt, Cornelius' father, close to the Hitler regime.

It was not until 2012, during a customs operation, that the authorities discovered the collection of more than 1,500 works hidden for decades by Cornelius Gurlitt, a case with international repercussions.of them had been identified as stolen from Jews, but gray areas remain as to the constitution of this treasure.The German-Austrian art collector died in 2014.

"Moral responsibility"

"It is an important signal" that these works of art could "be returned to the heirs of the victims", welcomed the Minister of Culture, Monika Grütters."Behind each of these works hides a tragic human fate.like that of Henri Hinrichsen, who died at Auschwitz ", she added." We cannot repair this terrible suffering but we are trying (...) to face our moral responsibility ".

Cornelius Gurlitt's father had been commissioned by the Nazis in 1938 to sell works stolen from Jews or confiscated for "decadence".The collection, which includes paintings by Renoir, Cézanne, Beckmann, Delacroix or Munch, is valued at several million euros.

Posted Date: 2021-01-18

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