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Museum of arts in Switzerland refuses to receive works from or stolen by the Nazis

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After several years of research, the Museum of Fine Arts in Bern rejected dozens of works that had been inherited by a European collector.

The Bern Art Museum, which inherited Cornelius Gurlitt’s impressive and controversial collection in 2014, declared on Friday to renounce 38 works Stolen by the Nazis or deemed suspicious.

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The German-Austrian collector Cornelius Gurlitt, whose father was an art dealer who served the Hitler regime, passed away in May 2014 and appointed by will the Swiss museum as sole heir, a decision that “surprised” the cultural institution.

In November 2014, the museum had decided to accept this inheritance, while renouncing his property rights for those works of art that could have belonged to Jewish people plundered by the Nazis, in accordance with an agreement reached with Germany.

After that, the working group began to evaluate those works, a process in which they participated independent international experts.

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After several years of research On this donation, which includes around 1,600 works, the Bern art museum indicated on Friday that I quit to nine “Works looted under the National Socialist regime.”

These pieces were returned to their owners by Germany, according to the Bern Art Museum.

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On the other hand, the museum renounces “come into possession of works of uncertain origin, but that contain suspicious indications and / or circumstances, even if evidence of plunder by the Nazis is lacking ”, a decision that affects 29 articles.

Of those 29 works, five canvases have already been returned to Germany, two are subject to a request for restitution and 22 remain in the museum for further investigation.

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However, the museum decided to keep 28 works that, according to the tracking made of its origin, they were not the result of Nazi plunder, as well as 246 others created by members of the Gurlitt family.

The museum will also preserve about 1,100 works of uncertain origin, but for which “there is no evidence of looting by the Nazis or suspicious circumstances ”.

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Finally, the museum notes that around 270 works were excluded from the investigation “Since it is about works of dismembered portfolios and other pieces made in series”.

It was not until 2012 that the treasure of Cornelius Gurlitt, who died at 81, was discovered during a customs raid on his Munich apartment (southern Germany) and during another one held in another home of hers, in Salzburg, Austria.

The collection includes canvases by Renoir, Cézanne, Beckmann, Delacroix and Munch. (I)

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