Gurlitt Estate: Berne Museum Reaches Agreement on Cézanne’s La Montagne Sainte-Victoire

la-montagne-sainte-victoireIn November 2013, the Gurlitt saga propelled the complex historical and legal issues around looted art into the spotlight. It created, perhaps for the first time, an awareness for the importance of provenance research within the wider public. However, with Cornelius Gurlitt entering into an agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Bavaria in April 2014 and his death shortly thereafter, on 6 May 2014,  the matter has disappeared from the headlines. The opening of the exhibitions in Bonn and Berne in autumn last year brought the topic back at least to the art pages. Behind the scenes, the provenance research into the artwork in the good estate continues, but rarely gets publicity. Yesterday was an exception: Frankfurter Allgemeine reported that the Berne Museum of Fine Arts and the estate of Paul Cézanne had reached an agreement on Cézanne’s 1897 painting “La Montagne Sainte-Victoire”, arguably the commercially most valuable painting in the Gurlit collection. Continue reading

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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: Gurlitt Bequeathes Collection to Museum of Fine Arts Berne

Cornelius Gurlitt sadly passed away on Tuesday this week. Shortly thereafter, the news broke that he had left his art collection to a museum outside Germany. Today, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland, confirmed it was the beneficiary under Gurlitt’s last will.  In a very open and frank statement, it expressed the museum’s surprise: Continue reading

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