A Private Life Amid a Tainted Trove of ArtBreaking News
tags: Nazis, art
MUNICH — As an expert in works of art that the Nazis called “degenerate” and in the dealers who traded them during World War II, Vanessa Voigt often wondered what had become of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of a prominent Nazi-era art dealer and a figure she had come to view as a “phantom.”
Early last year, Ms. Voigt finally came face to face with the elusive man who kept popping up vaguely in her research. German customs officers had just stumbled on some 1,280 paintings and drawings — masterworks believed to be worth more than $1 billion — stashed in Mr. Gurlitt’s Munich apartment, and they turned to Ms. Voigt to help them understand what was going on.
As the customs officers confiscated the works, a distressed Mr. Gurlitt paced restlessly around his previously inviolable domain, muttering over and over to himself, “Now they are taking everything from me,” recalled Ms. Voigt, who was present. “He was mortified,” she said.
In an interview, his first, published on Sunday, Mr. Gurlitt, 80, told the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel that the confiscation of the artwork was a devastating blow — more difficult even than the loss of his sister, Benita, to cancer last year. “Saying goodbye to my pictures was the most painful of all,” he said....
comments powered by Disqus
- Inside Billy Graham's Powerful Relationship With U.S. Presidents
- Children have changed America before, braving fire hoses and police dogs for civil rights
- How the Activists Who Tore Down Durham's Confederate Statue Got Away With It
- Many Trump Voters Think We Need a White History Month
- How a team of sophisticated forgers at an Essex country house fooled the Nazis
- Historians fear ‘censorship’ under Poland’s Holocaust law
- How One Amateur Historian Brought Us the Stories of African-Americans Who Knew Abraham Lincoln
- History Coalition asks historians to "Urge Your Representative to Join the Congressional History Caucus"
- Dartmouth’s Randall Balmer: Under Trump, America's religious right is rewriting its code of ethics
- Was This Technology historian plagiarized? Sure seems like she was.