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Updated: 11/13/2013 01:19:00AM

Germany begins releasing list of works from Nazi art stash

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Photo provided by the Augsburg, southern Germany, prosecution Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 shows a painting 'Reiter am Strand' ('Riders at the Beach') by German artist Max Liebermann from 1901 that was among the more than 1400 art works that were seized by German authorities in an apartment in Munich in February 2012. Investigators, aided by a leading art historian, are trying to establish the artworks' legal status and history. It's unclear how many of the works might be subject to return to pre-World War II owners. (AP Photo/Staatsanwaltschaft Augsburg)

By David Ng

Los Angeles Times

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(LA Times) — Responding to international pressure, officials in Germany have released a preliminary list of the more than 1,400 works of art discovered in a Munich apartment that are believed to have been improperly acquired by the Nazis.

On Tuesday, authorities began publishing an online roster of the works found in the apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, an art dealer who is the son of the Nazi art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt.

The partial list of just 25 works was published on the site Lost Art Database on Tuesday, but the site has been experiencing technical difficulties, presumably because of high traffic.

Gurlitt was found to be hoarding 1,406 works of art in his apartment in the Schwabing district in Munich. Authorities made the discovery last year but kept quiet about it until the German magazine Focus broke the news in late October.

The cache is believed by many to be one of the most important discoveries of Nazi looted art since World War II. Experts expect the process of authenticating the works recovered from Gurlitt’s apartment to take years.

Among the works listed on the website are: “Moorish Conversation on a Terrace” by Eugene Delacroix, “Riders on the Beach” by Max Liebermann, “Seated Woman/Woman Sitting in Armchair” by Henri Matisse, “Allegory/Allegorical Scene” by Marc Chagall, and “Study of a Woman Nude, Standing, Arms Raised, Hands Crossed Above Head” by Auguste Rodin. (Several of these works were disclosed last week by the prosecutor investigating Gurlitt.)

The Lost Art Database is an official German site that lists cultural objects that were seized during World War II and the Holocaust, particularly from Jewish owners. Officials are expected to update the list of works recovered from Gurlitt’s apartment on an ongoing basis.

On Monday, German officials said they are creating a task force whose mission is to investigate the provenance of the 1,406 works of art. It remains unclear exactly how many of the works were acquired from German museums under the Nazi’s “degenerate art” policies.

The task force must also determine which pieces were acquired from Jewish owners during the Holocaust.


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