Cornelius Gurlitt, Controversial Heir of Nazi-era Art Collection, Dies at 81

May 7th, 2014

Cornelius Gurlitt passed away on Tuesday in his Munich apartment at the age of 81. Mr. Gurlitt made art news headlines last fall when German authorities revealed that the son of a Nazi-era Art Dealer had been hoarding roughly 1,300 works by European Modern Masters in his apartment as well as in storage. In his will Mr. Gurlitt named the Kunstmuseum Bern the sole heir to his collection. However, questions still remain concerning the fate of the artwork. Prior to his death Mr. Gurlitt reached a deal with German authorities that research into the provenance of his collection would continue after his death, leaving the works subject to restitution claims. According to Winfried Bausback, Bavaria’s justice minister, “The agreement Mr. Gurlitt reached with German authorities carries over to whoever inherits the collection, including the museum.”

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