German recluse Gurlitt to return Nazi-looted art

By REUTERS
March 26, 2014 23:59

 
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BERLIN - A German recluse whose billion-dollar art hoard was confiscated will return all works looted by the Nazis to their owners or their descendants, his legal custodian told German media on Wednesday.

The paintings, drawings and sculptures were seized from Cornelius Gurlitt's two homes by authorities investigating possible tax evasion in February 2012. They include Modernist and Renaissance masterpieces valued at about 1 billion euros, according to media reports.

In February, Gurlitt's lawyers had said he had filed a formal complaint against the seizure of his art collection.

Germany has faced criticism from around the world for failing to publish immediately the full list of artworks, for keeping silent for nearly two years about the trove and for potentially having had no legal right to seize the pieces.

Gurlitt wants to "return all (artworks) that have been stolen or robbed from Jewish ownership to each of their owners or descendants," lawyer Christoph Edel was quoted as saying on Wednesday by Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.


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