(Q15143412)

English

Cornelius Gurlitt

son of Hitler's art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, German art collector

  • Rolf Nikolaus Cornelius Gurlitt

Statements

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Rolf Nikolaus Cornelius Gurlitt (German)
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In a 1964 letter addressed to her older brother Cornelius, she wrote, “I sometimes think his most personal and most valuable legacy has turned into the darkest burden. What we have is locked away in the graphics cabinet or kept behind pinned-up curtains. … I tremble with fear every time I even think about it.” The “burden” Benita refers to—a trove of roughly 1,500 modern art masterpieces largely confiscated from their Jewish owners by representatives of the Third Reich—remained the Gurlitt family secret for nearly 50 years (English)
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After Dorville’s death, the paintings were sold at auction in Nice in 1942, but his family never received the revenue. Many family members were later deported and murdered. Dorville’s heirs, represented by Antoine Djikpa and Antoine Delabre at a handover ceremony at the Chancellery on 22 January, said they were grateful for Germany’s “commitment to memory and justice.”Grütters said in a statement that the tragic family story “demonstrates very clearly how perfidiously Nazi art-looting operated. The misery and injustice suffered by the Dorville family at the hands of the Nazis cannot be compensated for. But we can and must make it visible. Every restitution counts.”Thirteen works from Gurlitt’s art trove have now been identified as looted by the Nazis and returned to the heirs. One of these, a painting by Paul Signac, is to be auctioned by Sotheby’s on 4 February. (English)
Cornelius Gurlitt (Munich)
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