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.
Today’s Frankfurter Allgemeine reports on a restitution claim brought by the heirs of Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in Federal Court in New York against Bavaria.* The painting in dispute is Picasso’s Madame Soler. Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy sold it, in 1934, to art dealer Justin Thannhauser. It was from Thannhauser that the Bavarian State Painting Collection (Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen) acquired Madame Soler in 1964. But was that acquisition a legitimate transaction? Continue reading