Collector's hidden art to be shown in Switzerland, Germany
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BERLIN — A vast trove of art which a German collector kept hidden from the world for decades will be shown simultaneously at museums in Switzerland and Germany later this year, Switzerland's Kunstmuseum Bern announced Wednesday.
The Swiss museum, which Gurlitt designated as his sole heir, announced it would co-host the "Dossier Gurlitt" shows together with the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn.
Art collector Cornelius Gurlitt died in May 2014, months after German authorities announced they stumbled upon more than 1,000 artworks at his Munich apartment while investigating a tax case.
His collection included paintings by Paul Cezanne, Eugene Delacroix, Albrecht Duerer and other world-famous artists. Experts said several of the paintings likely were stolen from Jews by German Nazis.
The 2013 discovery brought renewed attention to the many unresolved cases of art that was looted from Jewish owners during the Third Reich and never returned to original owners or their descendants.
Gurlitt's father, Hildebrand, was an art dealer who traded in works confiscated by the Nazis.
After his father's death, Gurlitt kept more than 1,200 works in his Munich apartment and 250 more in Salzburg, Austria.
The Bern museum has pledged to ensure that any pieces that turn out to have been looted will be returned to Jewish owners' heirs.
A German government-backed foundation has evaluated hundreds of paintings and identified dozens already that were likely stolen by the Nazis.
The Bonn part of the Gurlitt exhibition will focus on art stolen from Jewish owners, while the Bern museum will focus on art considered "degenerate" during the Nazi era.
The art will be on show from November through March 2018. It's the first time the collection will be shown to the public.
In Focus: Richard Crouse