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

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posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


You seem to not be able to comprehend that time passes and times change. I actually do very much know what I'm talking about. You see, when my grandfather was in France during WWII, he came across a large home that had been blown to bits. As he poked around in the remains in there, he found a 17-18th century painting still hanging on the wall in a 4 inch thick gold baroque frame. As an artist, himself, he knew that that painting would not survive the elements for long so he took it and somehow managed to bring it to the US. Years later, my grandmother attempted to identify the painting as it was, no matter the circumstances it was found, technically stolen war art. Unfortunately, the museum in her area was not able to identify the work beyond it being the work of a probable master. When it fell into my mother's hands, we tried to get our local museum to address the painting or at least allow us to bring it in to have them attempt to identify it but they denied us. My family holds stolen war art and we've been trying to find its proper owner for decades in the most cautious of ways possible (We can't very well take out a Craigslist ad). We never once forget that somewhere out there is the rightful owners. We do not own that painting. It's in our keeping until, hopefully someday, we can actually get a museum to listen to us.

Contrast that with these two men--both father and son. These works had all been identified as stolen, missing or possibly destroyed. The owners of the works were known. These were works by Picasso, Renoir, Chagall and more. These were not the works of some 17th century master who is less known. They were the masters of their times. That is inexcusable. There was no threat to these paintings after the war ended. Just like my grandfather rescued a beautiful painting from certain destruction from war, so did that man working for Hitler. However, the only thing that ever kept our family from returning what we hold from its rightful owner is bureaucracy and ineptitude of the museums around us. That's it. If we can ever find out who owned that painting, we would restore it to that family in a heart beat. We are not thieves. Those men behaved and lived like thieves.




posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 11:19 PM
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If your grandfather truly wanted to return the art I don't see why a simple investigation into public deeds, ownership, and so on and so forth couldn't have identified someone related to the works he stole.

*And never returned.
edit on 6-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)


If he was there for military duty it should have gone up the chain of command. Since when is it ok for soldiers to take art and valuables and bring it home just in case someone tracks it down so they can give it back to them. *cause "they aren't thieves".

O

K

nice

story

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edit on 6-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 11:24 PM
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reply to post by boncho

As an artist, himself, he knew that that painting would not survive the elements for long so he took it and somehow managed to bring it to the US.

 


Which is what he told you I presume.


Years later, my grandmother attempted to identify the painting as it was, no matter the circumstances it was found, technically stolen war art.


Indeed.


My family holds stolen war art and we've been trying to find its proper owner for decades in the most cautious of ways possible (We can't very well take out a Craigslist ad). We never once forget that somewhere out there is the rightful owners. We do not own that painting. It's in our keeping until, hopefully someday, we can actually get a museum to listen to us.


So in essence, your entire family has jumped on the war crime bandwagon.


Contrast that with these two men--both father and son. These works had all been identified as stolen, missing or possibly destroyed.


No actually the US gave his father possession of a great deal of them. Some were written down as destroyed. It's easy to see the father was trying to gain possession of a great number of works, but we can't condemn the son for the father's actions. God knows what he was thinking living in squalor for all those years sitting on over a billion worth of art…


That is inexcusable. There was no threat to these paintings after the war ended. Just like my grandfather rescued a beautiful painting from certain destruction from war, so did that man working for Hitler. However, the only thing that ever kept our family from returning what we hold from its rightful owner is bureaucracy and ineptitude of the museums around us.


And you know what the son was thinking, or what he was going through how?

In fact, the father obtained legal ownership from the US agents in charge of returning stolen war art (for some of it) your grandfather, stole art.

Since you say everything was humble pie after the war, he should have just returned it to the proper authorities.

My god, why are you arguing…
edit on 6-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 02:03 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Returning war art is not as easy as you'd think. We have no idea of what part of France it was in, let alone what house, who owned it or anything. Grandfather is deceased. I agree, it was theft, regardless of intent, but so was what the art hoarder did. In both cases, art was at risk of being destroyed and if you read my post, you'd see that I called what my grandfather did theft. What both did was a war crime when efforts were not made at the war's end to restore the property. We've been trying to rectify our stolen art for at least 30 years now. What was the art hoarder's comment? Couldn't you have waited until I was dead?

He didn't want to part with it or restore it to the rightful owners. That's criminal.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 03:21 AM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice

Returning war art is not as easy as you'd think. We have no idea of what part of France it was in, let alone what house, who owned it or anything. Grandfather is deceased.

 


You were just telling us how easy it was…



I agree, it was theft, regardless of intent, but so was what the art hoarder did.


I said plain as day the father in the story was a manipulative thief. My first post I may have questioned it but follow up, and the information regarding clearly shows he was out for building his personal collection and that's about it. Although, we don't know every circumstance around it, the fact that he brokered deals to procure the art originally kind of shows culpability.


In both cases, art was at risk of being destroyed and if you read my post, you'd see that I called what my grandfather did theft.


And you are calling yourself a thief too, as you call the son. Do us a favour, stand by your words and try and turn yourself into the police. Anything else is utter hypocrisy.

Or you could just drop a losing argument.


Couldn't you have waited until I was dead?

He didn't want to part with it or restore it to the rightful owners. That's criminal.


Ah yes, and what have you done lately, (self admitted accomplice to theft of war art?)
edit on 7-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 03:35 AM
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He's hiding behind a painting. Look at the eyes you'll see them moving.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 04:20 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Easy for a PIcasso, not so easy when it's an unsigned work. Trust me...identifying a painting doesn't go down in reality like it does in the movies. Museums don't generally jump up and agree to examine an artwork to the extent of identifying an unknown artist. When I called my local large museum with the issue just a couple years ago, they outright refused to get involved and couldn't even get me in contact with an art appraiser that would be capable. If it were a Chagal, a Picasso, or a Renoir--especially signed--then it would be so much easier. If you've ever looked at the missing art lists in regards to looted property from World War II like I have, you'll see that the key to finding that connection to restore a painting relies heavily on one thing--knowing the artist and title. The paintings that Gurlitt held were signed and very obvious...very famous pieces of work or easily identifiable masters. Key distinction.

I wasn't the one who stole the painting and am instead the one who has actually combed through the missing WWII art list from France. That doesn't make me a thief--that makes me the individual who is trying to correct the inappropriate actions of her grandfather in WWII. (That's why I'm bondable.) Gurlitt never tried. He hoarded them for his entire life, locked away in a shabby little apartment where some were allowed to get dirty. And when Gurlitt needed money, what did he do? He sold the less identifiable and obscure ones so he'd never have to work a day of his life.


Gurlitt vanished after the paintings were confiscated, with police suspecting that he has access to almost unlimited funds.

As well as selling The Lion Tamer, he sold off many of the paintings - works that wouldn't attract headlines - before the intervention of German customs officials.

www.dailymail.co.uk...

You can consider that I'm the one losing the argument but I'd like to point out that you are the one that is slinging ad hominems at me and were turning a thief of property from a group of people who were treated so horrifically in that same war into a hero. Holding onto those paintings for 68+ years and profiting off of them is repugnant. Period. And some of the paintings were dirty...oh what a hero Cornelius Gurlitt was....
edit on 7/11/13 by WhiteAlice because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 06:29 AM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice

You can consider that I'm the one losing the argument but I'd like to point out that you are the one that is slinging ad hominems at me and were turning a thief of property from a group of people who were treated so horrifically in that same war into a hero. Holding onto those paintings for 68+ years and profiting off of them is repugnant. Period. And some of the paintings were dirty...oh what a hero Cornelius Gurlitt was....

 


We don't know what other valuables your grandfather took, which ones he kept and which ones he sold. In fact, you might only have that one because it was unsigned making the value not worth it.

Ad hominem it is not, you pointed out your grandfather stole art, you and your family all kept stolen proceeds of crime. This isn't up for debate, you told us so! And it's very relevant when you are making accusations at someone for the very same thing.

You ever hear the one about how it doesn't matter if you steal a pen, a thousand pens or a thousand gold bricks, it's still theft! (This absolute thinking is the same you are pushing on us, I will concede there are extenuating circumstances.) *But since we are being black and white about the whole affair…

If you never made a call to actual authorities (not local museums) you never tried to resolve it. And if you were as moral as you like to make yourself out to be, you would have asked for exact address, place, time, etc. of the place your grandfather stole the painting, and taken the time to look into it.

Of course, he might not have had it, especially if never intending to return it, after he illegal took it out of a war zone.

My god…
edit on 7-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)


Don't throw stones in glass houses comes to mind. I am not really judging you, your grandfather, your family, I am just pointing out your very flawed logic. "Everyone else is a criminal but me!" Cause you have a "good heart" right?
edit on 7-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Yep. I agree that my grandfather absolutely stole art from France in WWII. Zero disagreement with that. However, his crime is not mine as I've poured hours and hours in attempting to restore said property to its rightful owners. Again, the authorities are not typically helpful when it comes to a crime from 1944 that doesn't involve manlaughter; hence why I approached the museum. This should help provide some insight into the difficulties. The authorities within the US do not assist in the reparation. Trust me, we've attempted that route. www.museum-security.org...

Both my grandfather and Gurlitt's father did the right thing initially in having the desire to protect the artwork in both cases. That is forgivable. Not restoring that property to its rightful owner, especially when the war had ended, is not forgivable. The distinction between Gurlitt and I is that I have at least made serious attempts to right that wrong while Gurlitt profited off of his cache to the extent that he never had to work.

I wasn't even born when the theft occurred and I didn't hear the story about the actual acquisition of the property until my grandfather passed. I remember sitting in their foyer, looking at the painting, and pondering how long it had been in our family. My mother gave me that answer and didn't know what to do as her mother had tried previously back in the 80's with no luck. Gurlitt was alive when their cache began to grow. He knew its providence that's why when it came time for him to sell one, he selected lesser known works to sell to avoid detection..

Your persistent failure to comprehend the difference is quite clear. You can revile my grandfather all you want. I do the same most days. He was an arrogant and narcissistic sob to the extent that his own children despise him. No arguments there and it's pretty shocking how much that kind of thing still occurs in wars. War looting is a very, very old tale and still a current one. I think there's a museum in Iraq that is missing thousands of pieces. However, I'm pretty confident at this point that you're still going to ignore all of this in lieu of wanting to call me a war criminal for trying to lay to rights a crime that I did not do and ignore the facts about Gurlitt.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 11:27 AM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice

Both my grandfather and Gurlitt's father did the right thing initially in having the desire to protect the artwork in both cases.

 


Not entirely, Gurlitt's father's motivations seem to be collecting art for himself. He was one of the ones that stole the art from the Jews. Maybe his deeper motives were to protect it, who knows. In any case, he could have had partners which is why the son held on to it for so long. If the son was merely after profit, he would have sold many more. If the son was after legacy, he would have left it to someone. He just wanted to die and let the authorities find it, which seems likely since they let him go.

And…

I have absolutely nothing more to say to you in this thread. I imagine your mouth tastes like socks right about now.


edit on 7-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 01:08 PM
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boncho
reply to post by WhiteAlice

Both my grandfather and Gurlitt's father did the right thing initially in having the desire to protect the artwork in both cases.

 


Not entirely, Gurlitt's father's motivations seem to be collecting art for himself. He was one of the ones that stole the art from the Jews. Maybe his deeper motives were to protect it, who knows. In any case, he could have had partners which is why the son held on to it for so long. If the son was merely after profit, he would have sold many more. If the son was after legacy, he would have left it to someone. He just wanted to die and let the authorities find it, which seems likely since they let him go.

And…

I have absolutely nothing more to say to you in this thread. I imagine your mouth tastes like socks right about now.


edit on 7-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)


Nope. Sure doesn't. Why would it?

Gurlitt's father was under orders to destroy the works. If he had been caught holding, he would've most likely ended up in a gas chamber himself, especially considering that he was of Jewish ancestry. I give him credit for risking his life in that sense but, like I said, his heroism ended the moment he chose to not give them back when the dust settled.

Part of the reason why the son was let go is because of legal complexity and length of time. Germany is actually under fire for this on multiple fronts for how they handled this. According to one source, they may be actually looking to file charges against him for the misappropriation of assets. Overall, it's likely to result in a large number of civil cases against Gurlitt. Gurlitt was a tax evader. He was being cautious so he wouldn't get caught.


They have (Germany) launched an investigation on charges of tax evasion and misappropriation of assets against Cornelius Gurlitt, in whose garbage-strewn Munich apartment the more than 1,400 works including paintings by Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri Matisse were found in February 2012.
my.news.yahoo.com...

Have a nice day.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 05:53 PM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice
 


One last thing, so when Gurllit (Sr) threatened to kill jews or let them live if they gave up their art possessions, he did this what… For protection of art?
edit on 7-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 01:48 AM
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The NPD ("nationalistic party of Germany") is now claiming the artworks should be in their hands ...



posted on Nov, 10 2013 @ 06:26 AM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice
 


I agree, all that great art sitting there where no one could see it.
The world needs all the beauty it can get right now.
That is truly selfish.



posted on Nov, 10 2013 @ 07:31 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 


We do not know, simple?
We can imagine, and I think his life would have been like the creature gulum, taking care of his precious.
He didn't have a fort, security forces or vault. One billion in the apartment. What a secret to keep. Can you imagine the level of paranoia? No visitors, no friends, no help....
I think it was a very sad life even if he did have a billion $s in the apartment.



posted on Nov, 10 2013 @ 07:56 PM
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A juicy conspiracy if ever there was one


From what I've read on the story, his father Hildebrandt was considered a 'degenerate sympathizer so was persecuted by the Nazis and was given the position of acquiring these works under duress and by duress by the sound of it (his grandmother was Jewish). He obviously stashed the paintings to save them originally, but why lie after the war was over? Perhaps he was worried they would serve a similar fate elsewhere, seeing as he died in 85 we will never know unless his son provides an explanation. But anyone that has that kind of job, loves art, and it is very hard to give up something you love especially if you think someone may destroy it out of an ideological view point or in fact for any reason! I suspect he lied and said they were destroyed so he could protect them.

Also there is the fact that during the war lots of really good fakes were made, a lot of people won't have their pieces authenticated (done by material/paint analysis and brushstrokes normally done by a specialist of a specific artist) precisely for this reason. For a example a good Sunflower fake by Van Gogh will cost you 50K. Lots of collectors have fakes made and stash the original in the bank and show off the fake for security reasons.

Some of the paintings shown in the article are exceptional pieces, even a really prolific artist may paint a thousand pieces but out of those around ten would be of this kind of caliber. Its not just about 'who' paints it.

'You could have waited till I was dead' it's almost like he is saying you knew I had all this stuff so why now? And how someone can be a recluse for 80 years and not really have any records etc really defies belief, there sure is something more to him. Considering the food tins were dated in the 80's perhaps his son covered them up after his father died (it sounds more like someone with a mental illness than a genuine desire to hide something). It could be he was still under duress from a group of people and was made a guardian of them? The truth will come out in the end.

But it is wonderful to see that the love of art is greater than following orders, and hopefully we will get to see them before they disappear once again into obscure collections of the wealthy, if we are lucky some might make it into the worlds public collections.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 12:28 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 


In this case I am happy they were looted by Nazis instead of Islamo-fascist,for they would certainly would have been destroyed alot of this was supposedly degenerate art but according to the article some Nazi big whigs stored it away as a nest egg for hard times and it's always with the Banks,they have no conscience,a lot of the world's treasure are still in the hands of looters or their descendants.

Btw have anyone here read the book Gold Warriors by Sterling and Peggey Seagrave about Yamachita's gold'.

Just transferred my comment to here.



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 12:37 AM
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Spider879
reply to post by boncho
 


In this case I am happy they were looted by Nazis instead of Islamo-fascist,for they would certainly would have been destroyed alot of this was supposedly degenerate art but according to the article some Nazi big whigs stored it away as a nest egg for hard times and it's always with the Banks,they have no conscience,a lot of the world's treasure are still in the hands of looters or their descendants.

Btw have anyone here read the book Gold Warriors by Sterling and Peggey Seagrave about Yamachita's gold'.

Just transferred my comment to here.


AliceBleachWhite


I wouldn't be surprised were some pieces discovered either hidden away, and/or forgotten about in someone's attic whereabouts Argentina; where many Nazis fled.


You can bet on that,what do International Law say about looted property and is there time limit to reclaim it.

edit on 11-11-2013 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 12:52 AM
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reply to post by Spider879


You can bet on that,what do International Law say about looted property and is there time limit to reclaim it.

 



www.claimscon.org...

A little murky actually:


Although the problem of looted cultural goods is a matter of public knowledge, it has often proved remarkably difficult for private claimants to recover their property. One reason for this is that many European nations have chosen to ignore international law regarding the status of this property, and permit a thief (or those in the chain of possession from the thief) to pass valid title to buyers under national law. In addition, looted cultural goods cases often become enmeshed in complex issues of choice of law and statutes of limitation, based on where the art was looted, where it has been over time or where it was found. Finally, claimants have faced significant hurdles in researching their claims, due to varying standards of archival access over Europe.

Immediately after World War II, various national laws dealing specifically with looted property were adopted, many of which were then allowed to lapse. The subject returned to the forefront of public attention when the Berlin Wall fell and archives in Eastern Europe and Russia were opened. Many private organisations began to work actively on the issue of looted cultural goods, and various national commissions and working groups were established to scrutinise archives, enquire into the provenance of works of art and, in some cases, examine individual requests for restitution.


Everyone wants a piece of the pie. Any case of "cleansing" in history in regards to religious, educational, art, etc. Is quite sad. In a sense, it might be good that some have taken into account the net value before destroying it, but sadly the likelihood of where it ends up is more likely in a private collection.
edit on 11-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 01:13 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 




Everyone wants a piece of the pie. Any case of "cleansing" in history in regards to religious, educational, art, etc. Is quite sad. In a sense, it might be good that some have taken into account the net value before destroying it, but sadly the likelihood of where it ends up is more likely in a private collection.


Yes private hoarders are the worst,at-least with a museum it can be shared publicly and even through wrangling have a slim chance of being returned to it's place of origin,but if some faceless person have it locked away in an attic somewhere good chance it will never see daylight again ever.



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