Dec 16, 2016
By Michael Kramer
A court in Germany has ruled that more than 1,400 art works – stolen by the nazis – can be donated to a Swiss museum.
The art belonged to Cornelius Gurlitt – whose father was an art dealer for the nazis – and sold works that were stolen or confiscated from Jews. The son died nearly three years ago and left the art to The Museum of Fine Arts in Bern, Switzerland.
But Gurlitt’s cousin contested the will and launched a court challenge – staking a claim to the collection – but lost the case when it was proven that Gurlitt was indeed of sound mind when he bequeathed the art – including pieces by Picasso, Matisse and Chagall.
The museum in Bern welcomed the ruling – but says it will probably not keep all the works – just those that were not looted.
It plans to work with the German government to research the back story of each work – and begin restitution in cases where that is applicable.