Nazi-Looted Art

Nazi-Looted Art

After Nazi art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt died in a car crash in 1956, Nicoline Benita Renate (known to her family as Benita) found herself struggling to come to terms with the singular inheritance her father had left behind. In a 1964 letter addressed to her older brother Cornelius, she wrote, “I sometimes think his most personal and most valuable legacy has turned into the darkest burden. What we have is locked away in the graphics cabinet or kept behind pinned-up curtains. … I tremble with fear every time I even think about it. The “burden” Benita refers to—a trove of roughly 1,500 modern art masterpieces largely confiscated from their Jewish owners by representatives of the Third Reich—remained the Gurlitt family secret for nearly 50 years. But in February 2012, authorities raided Cornelius’ Munich apartment, seizing his collection of works by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall and drawing attention to the difficult task of restituting Nazi-looted art to its rightful owners.”Benita’s four drawings will now join a selection of her brother’s holdings in a new show at the Martin-Gropis-Bau in Berlin. Deutsch de la Meurthe’s descendants have approved the inclusion of their drawings in the new show, which will run from September 14 to January 7, 2019.

globalmuseum.org

 

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