Updated Feb. 11, 2014 12:45 p.m. ET
Sixty works of art have been seized from the Cornelius Gurlitt’s house in Salzburg, seen above Tuesday. German prosecutors seized 1,400 works of art from Mr. Gurlitt’s Munich apartment two years ago. European Pressphoto Agency
German art collector Cornelius Gurlitt, from whom authorities confiscated 1,400 works of art in Munich two years ago, had dozens more potential treasures at his second home in Salzburg, Austria, his representatives said Tuesday.
The 60 works that were stored in the house until Monday are mostly paintings and include works by Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and a work on paper by Pablo Picasso, one of the representatives told The Wall Street Journal.
They have been moved to a depository, and were never in police custody, the representative said.
Many of the works seized in the German state of Bavaria in early 2012 as part of a tax investigation are suspected of having been looted by the Nazis during World War II. Such questions have left the trove in legal limbo.
Mr. Gurlitt’s representatives—a court-appointed guardian, lawyer and spokesman—said in a short statement that the provenance of the newly uncovered works would be examined to see if any of them were looted, but that an initial inspection suggested that none was.
The lawyer, Hannes Hartung, told the Journal last month that the 81-year-old son of the late Hildebrand Gurlitt, one of Adolf Hitler’s main art dealers, is willing to negotiate with the families of victims of the Nazis whose art was taken, with a view to returning looted works.
One of the other representatives, who did not want to be identified, said there has been no decision about what to do with the works in Austria once they are cataloged and valued by professionals.
Among the works found in the Munich apartment are an oil portrait by Henri Matisse claimed by Anne Sinclair, the ex-wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, that experts say could fetch up to $ 20 million at auction.
Under German law, any sale between 1933 and 1945 from a Jew to a non-Jew is considered to have been made under duress unless it can be proved that the purchaser paid a fair market price and wasn’t affiliated with the Nazis.
A German government-appointed task force is researching the provenance of around 500 pieces in the Gurlitt collection that might fall under the scope of that law, but it has no power to require restitution. Because the statute of limitations has expired, Mr. Gurlitt isn’t compelled to return any looted artworks.
Lawyers for some claimants have raised concerns that improper storage could be impairing the value of the pieces seized in Germany. Mr. Gurlitt’s collection consists of works on paper and oil paintings, which can deteriorate if not stored under appropriate conditions.
Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel, the task force head, told the Journal that the works are in rooms controlled for temperature, light and humidity. But she declined to say whether the Matisse, which isn’t on a stretcher to support it, will be put on one. Independent art experts say the work could be irreparably damaged if it continues to be without a stretcher.
—Andrea Thomas contributed to this article.
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