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Gurlitt's Salzburg hoard is bigger and better than first thought

German collector says he will return works if there are "reasonable" grounds for suspicion they are Nazi loot

Gurlitt's Salzburg house

Cornelius Gurlitt, the German collector found in 2012 to possess hundreds of works of art in an apartment in Munich and house in Salzburg believed to have been stolen by the Nazis, said in a press statement yesterday (26 March) that he will return all looted works to their owners or descendants. His pledge comes with a qualification. He said: “Should works have the reasonable suspicion of having been looted, please give them back to their Jewish owners.”

One “significant” work from the collection found in Gurlitt's Munich apartment is about to be returned, said Gurlitt's lawyer Christoph Edel, who did not name the artist or title of the piece. “But we would like to emphasise that only a small percentage of the Cornlius Gurlitt collection falls under the suspicion of being looted art in our legal opinion,” said Edel in the same press release.

Meanwhile, details have emerged of Gurlitt's collection at his house in Salzburg. The cache of 238 works found in his Austrian home is larger than previously thought. They include 39 oil paintings by artists including Monet, Corot, Renoir, Courbet, Pissaro, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Liebermann, Cézanne and Nolde. The majority of the collection is made up of drawings, including works by Picasso and Munch. Silverware, woodcuts, ceramics, and sculptures, including works by Rodin, have also been recovered in Salzburg.

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