Oskaloosa.com

Community News Network

November 4, 2013

Hundreds of artworks by Picasso, Chagall, others may have been seized by Nazis

BERLIN — A Berlin art historian is helping prosecutors investigate a trove of 1,500 artworks that may have seized by the Nazis, which has been found in Munich.

Berlin Free University said in an e-mailed statement Monday that the inquiry is led by Meike Hoffmann of its degenerate art research unit.

The artworks, estimated to be worth 1 billion euros ($1.35 billion) if confirmed, were found in a squalid Munich apartment after a random check on an elderly man traveling from Switzerland to Munich by authorities cracking down on money- laundering prompted further investigation, according to a report in the German magazine Focus. The raid took place in secret two years ago, according to magazine, which didn't say how it obtained the information.

"This is extraordinarily significant, if confirmed," Monika Tatzkow, a provenance researcher and author of several books on Nazi-looted art, said in an interview from Berlin Monday. "The number of works is overwhelming. It shows that a lot of time has to pass for some of this art to emerge from shady sources."

German customs officials recovered about 1,500 works by artists including Pablo Picasso, Max Beckmann and Marc Chagall long thought lost or destroyed, Focus said. The German government said it a statement Monday that it was aware of the case.

"Dr. Hoffmann has been assigned with the task of identifying the works by the Augsburg prosecutor," the release said. "This is an ongoing investigation and we ask for your understanding that the scholar at the Free University can give no information at this time," it said.

The investigators unearthed the paintings, sketches and prints, which were buried among outdated packets of food and rubbish, two years ago in the apartment of a man reported to be the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, a prominent art dealer in the 1930s and 1940s with ties to the Nazis, according to Focus report.

Customs authorities in Munich and prosecutors in the city of Augsburg declined to comment on the report, citing confidentiality rules. Berlin art historian Meike Hoffmann is trying to establish the origin and value of the works, Focus reported. Hoffmann couldn't be reached for comment.

"As important a story is why have the Bavarian authorities been sitting on them for two years," said Anne Webber, co-Chair of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, a London-based organization which helps families recover art seized by the Nazis. "Bavaria needs to publish a list of these works as soon as possible."

The works include a painting titled "Portrait of a Lady" by Henri Matisse that once belonged to Jewish art collector Paul Rosenberg, Focus said.

Rosenberg, whose granddaughter is Anne Sinclair, the estranged wife of former International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was forced to leave his collection behind when he fled the Nazis, Focus said. Gurlitt kept the artworks and sold some as a source of income over the years, the magazine reported.

Works by Emil Nolde, Franz Marc, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Liebermann and Albrecht Duerer were also discovered in the raid, it said.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Oskaloosa Shopper
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Photo reprints