Suspected Degas, Rodin works found in 'Nazi-loot' art hoard

24th July 2014, Comments 0 comments

Sculptures thought to be by masters Degas and Rodin have been found in the flat of the late German art collector whose priceless hoard included Nazi-looted works, investigators said Thursday.

Images of the works, once their origins are verified, will be published in the online inventory www.lostart.de to help trace their rightful owners in case they were once plundered by the Nazis, said the task force in charge of the investigation.

The sculptures were only recently found in the Munich flat of Cornelius Gurlitt, the reclusive son of a Nazi-era art dealer. Gurlitt died in May at age 81, after the discovery of his vast collection drew worldwide attention last year.

Before his death, Gurlitt struck an accord with the German government to help track down the rightful owners of pieces in his trove of 1,280 paintings, drawings and sketches, including Jews whose property was stolen or extorted under the Third Reich.

The works -- including masterpieces by Picasso and Monet -- were seized in early 2012 when they were discovered by chance during a tax evasion probe.

The latest works, a far smaller find, were only discovered after his death, by Munich probate court officials who were sent to secure Gurlitt's estate, the task force statement said.

The new find includes "a sculpture that is probably by Edgar Degas and a marble sculpture that, after a first inspection, may be a work of the French artist Auguste Rodin," said the task force.

Its head, Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel, promised "thorough research work and a transparent presentation of the new discovery" in the interest of "the victims of Nazi art theft as well as the heirs of Cornelius Gurlitt".


© 2014 AFP

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