The ‘Schwabing Art Trove’ Taskforce was founded in November 2013 after the discovery of an art find in the apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt (1932–2014) in Schwabing, Munich, was made public. The Taskforce ended its work on 31.12.2015 as originally agreed in its initial mandate. Its mandate was to determine the provenance of the artworks discovered in Munich as well as those found in Salzburg in 2014.
Because Cornelius Gurlitt’s father, Dr. Hildebrand Gurlitt (1895–1956), had been commissioned as an art dealer during the Nazi period to ‘dispose’ of ‘degenerate’ artworks and had been one of the foremost art buyers for leading National Socialists, it was necessary to clarify whether any of the works in his collection were looted from their former owners by the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945.
In April 2014, Cornelius Gurlitt signed an agreement with the German government and the Free State of Bavaria (German version only), in which he agreed to the continuation of the provenance research work and committed to finding fair and just solutions, in particular, to the restitution of Nazi-looted art in accordance with the Washington Principles. Prior to Cornelius Gurlitt’s death in May 2014, he named the Stiftung Kunstmuseum Bern as his sole heir. In November 2014, the Stiftung Kunstmuseum Bern, in its capacity as his testamentary beneficiary, also reached an agreement with the German government and the Free State of Bavaria (German version only) to continue the provenance research and to restitute any artworks that were looted by the Nazis.
Final Report of the ‘Schwabing Art Trove’ Taskforce from 12 January 2016 (German version only)