Art believed to have been looted by Nazis found in Munich

The building in Munich, Germany, where works of art believed to have been stolen by the Nazis were discovered in an apartment unit.
(Christof Stache / AFP / Getty Images)

A trove of artwork that some believe was looted by Nazi forces has been found in an apartment in Munich. The German magazine Focus has reported that the stash of art contains pieces by Matisse and Picasso and could be the largest collection of Nazi-looted art discovered since World War II.

The article, which appeared on Sunday, stated that the apartment contained 1,500 individual pieces of art crammed together. Focus reported that the trove’s estimated value is $1.3 billion.

Cornelius Gurlitt, the inhabitant of the apartment, was stopped by officials while traveling between Switzerland and Germany and was found to by carrying 9,000 euros (about $12,200) in cash. Officials later raided his apartment in Munich’s Schwabing district.

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The raid took place in 2011, but German officials have kept it under wraps for two years. Gurlitt, who is in his 80s, is the son of German art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, who worked under Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda.


Focus reported that Gurlitt is currently under investigation for tax evasion. The artwork is being held by customs authorities near Munich.

The art trove also contains works by Franz Marc and Max Beckmann.


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