Swiss museum releases lists of works from Cornelius Gurlitt art trove

Swiss museum releases lists of works from Cornelius Gurlitt art trove
A man walks past the entrance sign of the Kunstmuseum in Bern, Switzerland, on Nov. 25. (Peter Klaunzer / European Pressphoto Agency)

The Swiss museum that recently accepted works of art from the trove of the late Cornelius Gurlitt has published preliminary lists of the pieces that the German collector had hidden from the public for decades.

On Thursday, the Kunstmuseum Bern said the lists are a work in progress and still need to be completed. The museum has posted on its official website a 196-page document enumerating works of art that were hidden in Gurlitt's Munich apartment, as well as a separate 95-page document listing pieces from his Salzburg residence.

Gurlitt, who died in May, is believed to have stashed about 1,600 works of art -- many of which are believed to have come from his father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, a collector who worked with the Nazi party.

After Cornelius Gurlitt died, his representatives revealed that he had bequeathed his art to the Kunstmuseum Bern. The museum said earlier this week that it would accept the controversial art collection but that it won't accept pieces that were looted by Nazi forces during World War II.

Officials at the museum said in a release on Thursday that they are making the lists public "in the interests of transparency" and that the museum will "endeavor to emend the lists, step by step."

The museum also acknowledged that a "legal heiress" of Gurlitt has challenged the inheritance. As a result of the relative's court challenge, the museum said it will only have "restricted access" to the works of art for the time being.

Among the artists represented in the lists are Paul Cezanne, Camille Pissarro, Paul Gauguin, Edgar Degas, Gustave Courbet, Claude Monet, Marc Chagall, Edvard Munch and Otto Dix. Some of the works date as far back as the 15th and 16th centuries, including pieces by Lucas Cranach the Elder and Albrecht Dürer.

A number of families have already mounted claims on some of the works. The German government had previously listed some of the pieces from the Gurlitt trove on the website

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