Entertainment & Arts

Cornelius Gurlitt: Monet found in art hoarder's suitcase

Cornelius Gurlitt Image copyright Famous Pictures
Image caption Before his death, Cornelius Gurlitt agreed to help discover which works had been stolen

A Claude Monet landscape has been discovered in a suitcase that belonged to late art hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt.

The case, which was left at a hospital where the German had been staying, was handed over to the administrators of his estate.

They are tasked with finding out if the newly uncovered artwork was stolen by the Nazis during World War Two.

Gurlitt, who died in May aged 81, had a stash of 1,280 works of art hidden in his Munich apartment.

They were seized by the authorities in 2012 during a search of his home as part of a tax evasion probe, and included pieces by Picasso, Chagall and Matisse.

Details of the find were not made public until November last year.

It is unclear why Gurlitt had left behind his suitcase at the hospital.

The task force handling the art trove say the latest find is a light-blue landscape painted on paper, which may have been produced in 1864. It appears to have similarities to Monet's piece View at Sainte-Adresse, dated 1867.

In July, a small number of other works were found at Gurlitt's flat, including two sculptures thought to be works by Rodin and Degas.

Gurlitt inherited the priceless collection from his father Hildebrand, an art dealer who traded in works confiscated by the Nazis.

Hildebrand Gurlitt was ordered by Adolf Hitler to deal in works seized from Jewish families, or which the Nazis considered "degenerate".

Image copyright AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE
Image caption Matisse's Femme Assise was found in a collection estimated to be worth up to a billion euros

In his will, Gurlitt left the art haul to the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland.

The museum has just months to decide whether to accept Gurlitt's bequest.

In June, a Matisse painting was the first of the paintings to be confirmed as looted.

It was taken from a Jewish art dealer, Paul Rosenberg, in 1941. The task force has said the painting should be returned to Rosenberg's heirs.

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