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European Journal

Germany: What Next for the Gurlitt Collection?

The recent discovery of Cornelius Gurlitt's art collection sent shockwaves around the world. The son of a well-known art dealer, he kept an astonishing trove of art hidden in his Munich apartment for decades. The rightful owners are outraged that German authorities had been aware of the case for some time.

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Investigators found around 1,400 art works looted by the Nazis in Cornelius Gurlitt's home, including works by Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee and Otto Dix. The discovery met with incomprehension around the world: why did the Bavarian authorities not go public with the case when it first came to light 17 months ago? Shouldn't Germany, of all countries, be making every effort to establish the provenance of this art trove? The righful heirs are hoping for restitution, but it's possible that at least some of these works of art will end up in museums or even be returned to Gurlitt.