Germany was last night accused of making no attempt to trace the rightful owners of an £850million haul of art stolen by Nazis.
The paintings – by old and modern masters from Canaletto to Picasso and Chagall – were found in a Munich flat a year ago but not one has been returned.
Looted by Hitler’s SS in the 1940s as they murdered millions of jews and others, the missing artworks are for some families the last personal effects of relatives who died in the Holocaust.
Among previously unknown paintings was a self-portrait by German artist Otto Dix, in impeccable condition, painted around 1919 and valued at £20million.
Another, by French genius Henri Matisse of a seated female figure from the mid 20s, is believed to be worth the same.
But German authorities have not so far fully explained why it has taken them so long to announce the massive find or why they have failed to publish a full catalogue of the treasures.
The closest the outside world has come to viewing the work is via slides projected on to a wall.
The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany said: “The 1,500 Nazi-looted paintings discovered in Munich must be returned to heirs as expeditiously as possible.”
Customs officers seized the paintings, dating from the 1700s, from the flat of Cornelius Gurlitt, son of a war-time art dealer.http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/nazi-stolen-art-germany-accused-keeping-2680764