Art detectives mull Gurlitt treasures

After the decision by Bern’s Museum of Fine Arts to accept the Gurlitt bequest, Germany’s task force of experts is busy examining the works in the hoard to see if they were stolen by the Nazis – no easy job. Since May 2013, the team of international experts has been analysing the provenance of artworks left behind by the late Cornelius Gurlitt. This challenge requires art history expertise, a focus on detail and a willingness to stick with the task. Christoph Schäublin, chairman of the board of the Museum of Fine Arts in Bern, has no illusions about the time this will take. “We are not at the end, but at the beginning of a long road,” he said in Berlin. If Germany is to shoulder its responsibilities for the misdeeds of the past, the researchers have to find out whether Gurlitt’s collection contains artworks stolen or looted by the Nazis – and how the pictures came into the possession of the wealthy Munich recluse’s father, the art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt. Long … Show more

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