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A collection of 1,500 artworks confiscated by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s has been found in the German city of Munich, media reports say.

The trove is believed to include works by Matisse, Picasso and Chagall, the news magazine Focus reports.

Some of the works were declared as degenerate by the Nazis, while others were stolen from or forcibly sold for a pittance by Jewish art collectors.

If confirmed, it would be one of the largest recoveries of looted art.

Investigators put the value of the works at about one billion euros (?846m; $1.35bn), Focus said.

The magazine said the artworks were found by chance in early 2011, when the tax authorities investigated Cornelius Gurlitt, the reclusive son of an art dealer in Munich.

He was suspected of tax evasion, and investigators obtained a search warrant for his home in Munich.

There, they found the cache of some 1,500 artworks which had vanished from sight during the Nazi era.

The younger Mr Gurlitt had kept the works in darkened rooms and sold the occasional painting when he needed money, Focus reports.

The Nazis categorised almost all modern art as "degenerate". It was banned for being un-German or for being the work of Jewish artists.

Some works were confiscated or destroyed; others were sold to collectors for a low price.

There are international warrants out for at least 200 of the works, Focus reports. The collection is being held in a secure warehouse in Munich for the time being.

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GOOD! I hope it all gets returned to the families & institutions it came from.

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GOOD! I hope it all gets returned to the families & institutions it came from.

 

Wouldn't that be rather hard to do now?

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Wouldn't that be rather hard to do now?

No. The various Holocaust Centers have the Nazi records, and like the Romans they kept meticulous records. Anally so.

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i thought the Nazi would already burn that kind of artworks?

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Nope. The upper officers were aware of how the war was going to end and socked them away to use as investments for their lives in S. America. Some artwork was lost on sunken U-boats headed for Argentina, Brazil etc. and some got there. What was found wasn't that far along.

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No. The various Holocaust Centers have the Nazi records, and like the Romans they kept meticulous records. Anally so.

 

That's good. I figured they would have gotten rid of the records.

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