Sixty more works found at looted-art hoarder's cottage

The Jewish Chronicle 13 February 2014
By Marcus Dysch

A second stash of artworks has been found at a property owned by reclusive German pensioner Cornelius Gurlitt.

The discovery of 60 pieces comes more than two years after authorities uncovered 1,400 looted art works at his home in Munich.

The new items were found at a cottage owned by 81-year-old Mr Gurlitt in Salzburg, Austria. His spokesman said there was no evidence that the Salzburg pieces — including art by Monet, Renoir and Picasso — had been stolen.

German media reported that a lawyer acting for Mr Gurlitt was also working to ensure the 60 pieces could not be seized by authorities.

But Anne Webber, co-chair of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, said extensive research would need to be conducted before experts could say definitively whether the art had originally been looted.

It is not clear how the pieces were found, but it is thought that the discovery is unconnected to investigations into the original find.

Germany’s upper Parliament was expected to consider new legislation this week aimed at speeding up the restitution of looted art.

The proposed bill would scrap the statute of limitations which currently blocks claims on works held by collectors for more than 30 years.

The “Gurlitt Law” follows widespread criticism of the authorities’ handling of the Gurlitt discovery and alleged slowness to return art to Jewish families.

Ms Webber said the proposal was a “step in the right direction” and “an important acknowledgement that the current situation is unjust”. But she said there was “a lot further to go”.
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