German Police Recover 1,500 Works looted by Nazis

marc chagall

By Marc Chagall

It is said to be one largest artistic finds of the postwar era. Nearly 1,500 modernist pieces rumored to have been taken by the Nazis were found in an 80-year-old man’s house in Munich, Germany.

According to The Guardian, the works are worth 860 Euros, and include pieces from Jewish artist Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Paul Klee.

The works were first confiscated because the Nazis classified them as “degenerate art.” There were more than 16,000 pieces declared as “degenerate art” by the Nazi party. Many of the pieces were either taken or left behind by Jewish collectors during the time of World War II.

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

One of the Matisse paintings was said to belong to a French art dealer, Paul Rosenberg, who happens to be the grandfather of Anne Sinclair, a TV journalist and the ex-wife of the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Sinclair and her family have been seeking return of the works for years. Marianne Rosenberg, granddaughter of Paul Rosenberg, told the New York Times in April, “We are not willing to forget, or to let it go.”

Cornelius Gurlitt, the grandson of the man responsible for keeping the art, has been selling a piece every so often for the past several years. His apartment was first raided on Dec. 2, 2011 after he sold a painting titled “Lion Tamer” by Max Beckmann who, although not Jewish, had many pieces confiscated during the WWII era.

On a more positive note, those descendants of Jewish collectors may soon have the opportunity to legally claim ownership of the works.

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