Tuesday 18 February 2014

Gurlitt Collection

The lawyers of 81-year-old German recluse Cornelius Gurlitt, who was found to have a hoard of "degenerate" art confiscated by the Nazis, have set up a website as a PR exercise on his behalf. Nice photo of him, taken how many years ago? Is it really him or a model? If you want to read the poorly translated legalese, CLICK. Here's my brief translation into colloquial English. Cornelius is Mr Nice Guy. He never committed any crimes. Neither did his Dad or his Mum. German authorities had no legal right to confiscate his hoard and he wants it back. Even if his Dad did steal any art during the Nazi era, the statute of limitations on any art crime in Germany is 30 years. That's long gone. If his hoard is returned, he will sell paintings back to museums or galleries from which they were confiscated at today's market prices. Millions! He estimates that only 3% of his hoard was taken from Jews. By the kindness of his heart, he will return them to any family that has full documentation to prove ownership. How likely is that?


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