Munich Court of Appeals: Berne Museum of Fine Arts Confirmed as Gurlitt’s Heir

 

olg-munchenIn November 2013, the Munich Art Find made headlines world wide, when a newsmagazine broke the story about the seizure of an art collection in the apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, a privileged art dealer in the Nazi period. With the help of some guest authors, we have covered the story and some of its legal implications quite extensively on this blog.* Things have been quiet recently, but today, the Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht) Munich announced its decision in the dispute about Cornelius Gurlitt’s last will, under which the Gurlitt art collection was bequeathed upon the Berne Museum of Fine Arts (Kunstmuseum Bern). Continue reading

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Art Law: Final Report of the Gurlitt Taskforce Released

Task Force Gurlitt LOGOAt a press conference today, the Gurlitt taskforce presented its final report on the provenance research into the Schwabing art find. Regular readers will be familiar with the Gurlitt case, which we have covered here in quite some detail. In a nutshell, the Gurlitt taskforce was established in November 2013 to deal with the art collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, a German art dealer who traded in degenerate art during the Nazi era. The collection was seized by the public prosecution (Staatsanwaltschaft) in Augsburg in early 2012 and was believed to contain a substantial number of looted artwork (see here for a detailed chronology of the Gurlitt saga in English). Continue reading

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Art Law: Agreement in Place on Gurlitt Art Find

It has been a week of massive movement in the Gurlitt case: On Monday, Gurlitt himself, Gurlitt’s guardian (Betreuer), Bavaria and the Federal Republic announced that they have come to an agreement. Gurlitt agrees for provenance research of his collection to continue. On a voluntary basis, he will accept the findings of the provenance research and restitute art work in accordance with the Washington Principles.

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Art Law: Proposed “Lex Gurlitt” May Harm Owners of Lost Art

Yesterday, we had a closer look at the Bavarian initiative in the Gurlitt case designed to address the statute of limitation issue. Today’s guest post by Professor Lorenz Kähler, University of Bremen, reviews this legislative proposal. His assessment is rather sobering: The new provision of the Civil Code (BGB), if adopted, may not help heirs pursuing restitution claims, or even be more burdensome than the current law. But read for yourself: Continue reading

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