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Art hoarder's whereabouts unknown after German officials make estimated $1B discovery

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posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 02:19 PM
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The mysterious painting hoarder who was revealed to have stashed more than 1,400 works in his apartment – estimated to be worth around $1 billion -- has disappeared after authorities made the discovery.

Art hoarder's whereabouts unknown after German officials make estimated $1B discovery


Investigators searched Cornelius Gurlitt’s apartment in an upscale Munich district in February 2012, as part of a tax investigation that started with a routine check on a Zurich-Munich train in late 2010.

They found 121 framed and 1,285 unframed works — including by 20th-century masters such as Pablo Picasso, Max Liebermann and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and earlier works by artists including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Gustave Courbet, Auguste Renoir and Canaletto. The oldest work dates back to the 16th century. Some of the works are believed to have been missing since they were seized by the Nazis and one was a previously unknown piece by Marc Chagall, authorities said Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.



Gurlitt, the son of German art dealer and collector Hildebrand Gurlitt, inherited his father’s painting collection after his death in 1956, The Guardian reports.

Hildebrand Gurlitt had been the appointed dealer for a planned art museum in Linz, where Adolf Hitler wanted to display looted art. After World War II ended, Hildebrand Gurlitt claimed the art was destroyed in the bombing of Dresden.




So this is something to fuel the conspiratorial minded. It seems a son of an art dealer who was in Hitler's envoy was found with over 1 billion worth of art in his apartment. It doesn't sound if he was selling the art or trying to make money off it, and judging by this quote:


Gurlitt reportedly remained in his bedroom without protest as customs officers raided the apartment, the German magazine Focus reports, according to The Guardian. He reportedly asked police why they couldn’t have conducted the operation when he was dead.


It almost sounds like he wanted them to find it but long after he was dead. The man was in his 80s, and has since disappeared. I'm wondering if perhaps the authorities let him on his way, perhaps knowing more details than we have to go on.

This is big for any ww2 buffs…. Indeed.
edit on 5-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 02:22 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Great news, that these paintings have been found. Lots of lost loot in the War to End All Wars (how'd that turn out?), and now less of it is lost!



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 02:26 PM
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Aleister
reply to post by boncho
 


Great news, that these paintings have been found. Lots of lost loot in the War to End All Wars (how'd that turn out?), and now less of it is lost!


This has been the topic of many, many movies, conspiracies, and stories, legends, etc. A great find for anyone interested in art.

And the answer to a long lingering question….



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 02:36 PM
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The art in question was considered "degenerate art" by the Nazis:


Prosecutor Reinhard Nemetz told reporters in the Bavarian city of Augsburg that investigators have turned up "concrete evidence" that at least some of the works were seized by the Nazis from their owners or classed by them as "degenerate art" and seized from German museums in 1937 or shortly after.


The son, inherited the art when his dad died:


Gurlitt, the son of German art dealer and collector Hildebrand Gurlitt, inherited his father’s painting collection after his death in 1956, The Guardian reports.


And the old man had never tried to live a normal life it seems:


The art found in Gurlitt’s apartment was hidden behind tins of food. When police arrested the 80-year-old, they discovered that he had never opened a bank account, had no German health insurance and was unknown to tax authorities and social services, The Guardian reports. He also appeared to have no job or source of apparent income.


Which really makes me wonder if he was safe keeping the art. Was he protecting art from the Nazis or maybe waiting for some intended reemergence of Nazi power that never happened because they were gone, sitting on the only means of refinancing the effort.

Here is another article that says, "history turned on its head?"



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 02:39 PM
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Really makes me wonder, about the man. He could have been a hero, if he would have turned them in after his father passed away. Why did he keep them? Did he ever try to sell any of them?
Now that they have been discovered, maybe he decided to end his own life?

So many questions surrounding him. Very interesting story!



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 02:58 PM
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chiefsmom
Really makes me wonder, about the man. He could have been a hero, if he would have turned them in after his father passed away. Why did he keep them? Did he ever try to sell any of them?
Now that they have been discovered, maybe he decided to end his own life?

So many questions surrounding him. Very interesting story!


He was sitting on 1 billion worth of art, had art dealer connections, I presume if he was selling them he wouldn't have lived a life with no photo ID and bank account. Seems like he would have a few identities and be hob nobbing around on stolen art money!

But definitely, can't presume total innocence. I wonder if the full story will ever come out?



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 03:09 PM
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Seems Hollywood is in on the loop...

The movie " THE MONUMENTS MEN " is coming out with George Clooney, Matt damon, BFM.
About troops task with retrieviving masterpieces during WWII.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 03:14 PM
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Seems that WW2 Vets from all countries and theatres are dying...more will pop up.
edit on 5-11-2013 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)



I'M WAITING FOR THAT "RELIC"
edit on 5-11-2013 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:20 PM
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So who gets the art and money?



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 10:32 PM
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ImaFungi
So who gets the art and money?


I would hope they try to track down the original owners or the estates…




posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 03:21 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 


What a beast to have held onto all those paintings for so very long and then to whine about it? Why couldn't they wait til he was dead? I went to Europe as a teen and spent so many hours admiring all the art that I could possibly lay my eyes on. I even went to the Divided Germanies and did the same. How many people like me missed out on seeing that Chagall or that Picasso because of what? An old man's abhorrent greed? Fill in a string of expletives and it probably wouldn't satiate my disgust for the man. He kept those paintings for himself for decades and away from the rest of the world or at the very least, their rightful owners. Add some more expletives.

I am glad that they have been found. I hope they find him, too, and toss him in jail.



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 04:32 AM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice

How many people like me missed out on seeing that Chagall or that Picasso because of what? An old man's abhorrent greed?

 


I'm not sure how you think the world works, but he was holding on to a billion dollars worth of paintings, in very safe keeping, he had no bank account, ID, anything. His father served under Hitler, and was directed to collect all "bad" art.

Hitler either new it's value or the man's father wanted to protect in fear of it being destroyed (as best as I can guess from the circumstances).

I don't think you entirely grasp the situation. In Hitler Germany, priceless books, artefacts, arts, all destroyed because it didn't fit in the arian model. People sterilized, put to death, etc.

It is quite possible this man did the greatest deed every and lived in relative silence to ensure they saw the light of day again. (Although, he may have been protecting his family line from war crimes.)

Until there is more information though, it's impossible to lay judgement. Artists don't create art just for you to see in some stuffy hall.



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 04:42 AM
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Wow! what a story! The guy inherited this situation, was obviously supported by "Someone" his whole life, and obviously had made or inherited some sort of "watcher/caretaker" position, and now he's "gone"??? and the German gov't is not even making charges? How does an 80+ year-old disappear without help? Sooooo interesting!



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 05:12 AM
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Bigburgh
Seems Hollywood is in on the loop...

The movie " THE MONUMENTS MEN " is coming out with George Clooney, Matt damon, BFM.
About troops task with retrieviving masterpieces during WWII.



However, the movie seems to be spinning a different take on what Hitler intended to do with the confiscated art:


en.wikipedia.org...(film)

So who was supporting the son his whole life to be the caretaker of this collection? Who was fighting against the support of this man knowing what he was doing? It appears to me that this discovery has happened "too soon" according to Someone's plan that the collection remain hidden until such time has passed that it would have "cooled down" and be put up for auction. Make no mistake Someone makes money on this no matter what.



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 06:16 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 


I am quite certain of how the world works and am also fully aware that Hitler died back in 1945 and that West Germany, when I visited it almost 40 years later, was nothing like it was back during the Nazi era that ended back in the late 40's. In fact, Augsburg was in W. Germany and not even E. Germany. If it had been in E. Germany, which was intensely repressive, then it would be understandable but W. Germany? W. Germany was pretty hip. And heck, even the USSR had a nude Cezanne in the Hermitage at the time.

I don't think you entirely grasp the situation because you seem to think that Germany has been following Nazi extremism ever since Hitler died when I've actually been to the country when it was still divided. Times and attitudes changed dramatically after Hitler died. They kept those paintings secret for almost 70 years. That is inexcusable as those paintings were never theirs in the first place. His father did the greatest deed to preserving art that he could've possibly by protecting those paintings from destruction. I don't disagree with that. However, he should've given them up after the war was done and his son should've done the same thing after his father died in 1956. 57 years ago. If any of the rightful owners to those paintings survived their ordeals, they probably aren't even alive today to finally get their property back. It'll go to their children or grandchildren.

Please don't presume to tell me how the world works. I once had a good friend who was a Rabbi. He used to take me out to lunch because I reminded him of his daughter. I'll never forget the lunch when I saw the tattoo on his arm and he told me about how the Nazis took him and his family when he was just 15 years old.

Those paintings did not belong to those two men. They should have given them back a long, long time ago.



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 05:09 PM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice

I don't think you entirely grasp the situation because you seem to think that Germany has been following Nazi extremism ever since Hitler died when I've actually been to the country when it was still divided. Times and attitudes changed dramatically after Hitler died.

 


No, but the events surrounding the arts confiscation and the father's death tell a story. Reportedly the art was ordered to be destroyed.

The son lived in relative squalor, it turns out he indeed sold a few pieces to get by, but he could have been living off them high and large.

And it seems his intentions were to let the authorities find it after his death any how:


While the customs officers were getting to grips with their discovery, Gurlitt, 80, reportedly remained in his darkened bedroom without protesting. At one point, Focus revealedon Monday, he had asked laconically why the police couldn't have waited until he was dead. They would have got their hands on the art anyway.


It looks as though he lived a hermetic life, who exactly was he planning to leave the cans of food from the 80's and the art to?

Germany might have changed after WWII, but I really have no idea the circumstances around this, or what kind of social circles who were involved with this kind of precious goods, and neither can you.

The simple fact is he wasn't living the life of someone who was trying to, planning to convert the art collection to profit. His motives are pretty damn cloudy.

As far as not declaring the art at death, I have no idea, but read the bottom of this post for more info.

And of course, corruption looting and personal gain has entirely evaporated out of the German government since Hitler, amazing.
edit on 6-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)


To be fair, it looks like Gurlitt (the elder) received a large cache of the art, back from allied forces.

www.nytimes.com...


Now, six decades later, restitution experts said it is possible that this collection, once entrusted to the Monuments Men, is part of the astonishing stash of more than 1,400 works seized in 2012 by German investigators from the apartment of Gurlitt’s son Cornelius and brought to light this week. It is considered to be the largest trove of missing European art to have been discovered since the end of World War II.


Which again means condemning the son without fully understanding the situation is preemptive. Maybe the son didn't want them. Apparently the US somehow came to the conclusion some of the pieces were rightfully his…

Explain that one…
edit on 6-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)
edit on 6-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 05:31 PM
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boncho

Which again means condemning the son without fully understanding the situation is preemptive. Maybe the son didn't want them.


I dont think whitealice was condemming the son, more like asking; why didnt he give up the art work, to their owners, to museums, if they werent his and he wasnt using them to get money (maybe he couldnt sell them because he didnt have official owners documentation?)? What was the point of having 1,400 very famous paintings stashed up in his apartment and then act like he is somehow a victim? I dont praise this guy but I do think he is more of a hero then a villain, for not allowing them to be trashed or using them as fire kindling. I guess it must have had to do with fear of getting in trouble with the law, or getting his family/family name bad reputation? Or he couldnt bare all the art people asking all these kinds of questions...what were you thinking, why were you doing.
edit on 6-11-2013 by ImaFungi because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 05:39 PM
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ImaFungi

boncho

Which again means condemning the son without fully understanding the situation is preemptive. Maybe the son didn't want them.


I dont think whitealice was condemming the son, more like asking; why didnt he give up the art work, to their owners, to museums, if they werent his and he wasnt using them to get money (maybe he couldnt sell them because he didnt have official owners documentation?)? What was the point of having 1,400 very famous paintings stashed up in his apartment and then act like he is somehow a victim? I dont praise this guy but I do think he is more of a hero then a villain, for not allowing them to be trashed or using them as fire kindling. I guess it must have had to do with fear of getting in trouble with the law, or getting his family/family name bad reputation? Or he couldnt bare all the art people asking all these kinds of questions...what were you thinking, why were you doing.
edit on 6-11-2013 by ImaFungi because: (no reason given)


I definitely agree, more information is needed on that. The one source though states that Allies actually gave his father legal ownership of some of the works too. I am really interested in knowing the relationship of father to son, because the son doesn't really sound as enterprising as the father was…

The father though, it sounds like he was in it entirely for personal gain. Sure he didn't let the works get destroyed (as was planned by the Nazis) but he also lied and said they were destroyed in some cases, and took possession from the allies. But made no attempts to give them back.
edit on 6-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Yes either the father liked art or money, or both. Anyway it is an odd story, and is it assumed the son went off and killed his self or something? He had nothing to say or explain about the situation? I am looking forward to hearing any developing ideas on this story if there are any.

And if the allies gave the father ownership I guess that settles it...they are his to do with what he likes? If thats true why didnt he do anything with them? Is word of mouth good enough on ownership or they need documentation?
edit on 6-11-2013 by ImaFungi because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 07:34 PM
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ImaFungi
reply to post by boncho
 


Yes either the father liked art or money, or both. Anyway it is an odd story, and is it assumed the son went off and killed his self or something? He had nothing to say or explain about the situation? I am looking forward to hearing any developing ideas on this story if there are any.

And if the allies gave the father ownership I guess that settles it...they are his to do with what he likes? If thats true why didnt he do anything with them? Is word of mouth good enough on ownership or they need documentation?
edit on 6-11-2013 by ImaFungi because: (no reason given)


I think even with documentation it would be nullified. Right now the German authorities are holding onto it and cataloguing, claiming to get it back to rightful owners when possible. People are a little upset they won't release the database.

The father's claim to the art is null though, even if he had an ironclad contract, the original ownership transfers were done during duress. It was either, "Gimme your art and get out of Germany, or we kill you." Can't really argue contracts when that is hovering over it.





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