Website of the German Lost Art Foundation


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.

Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on the ‘Schwabing Art Trove’ Task­force

Fi­nal Re­port of the ‘Schwabing Art Trove’ Task­force from 12 Jan­uary 2016 (Ger­man ver­sion on­ly)