November 6th, 2013
08:15 AM ET

Unknown Matisse, Chagall and Dix Artworks Found In Nazi-Looted Haul

Previously unknown paintings by Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall and Otto Dix are among a treasure trove of art - much of it believed to have been looted by the Nazis - found hidden in a Munich apartment.

The vast collection, which experts say has "a value so high it cannot be estimated," was recovered in a raid by German tax authorities, in connection with an investigation into tax evasion, in February and March 2012.

At a press conference in Germany on Tuesday, experts revealed that more than 1,300 artworks - many long feared lost or destroyed, and some which had never been recorded - had been discovered.

Among the haul were paintings by Pablo Picasso, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Oskar Kokoschka, Canaletto, Pierre-August Renoir, Franz Marc and Gustav Courbet.

New York Magazine's Senior Art Critic Jerry Saltz offers his insight into the discovery.

“Nothing like this has ever happened. It's like the demonic forces of history have sort of conspired and this thing, 1,500 works of art—that's three times more than hang in the Museum of Modern Art right now, have been found. All of it missing, lost, a lot of it possibly tremendous, history changing,” Saltz says.

Though he says it is not certain where the work currently resides exactly.

“It may be spread out. A lot of it isn't in frames. A lot of it may be in storage. Wherever it is, the shock of this will wear off and a greater shock will start which is, where will this work go?” Saltz says.

Ownership and claim over the art will fall into question.

“I'm very sad, sad to say that the big winners in this may be lawyers. Lawyers, and the opportunist auction houses who may come in and just try to sell this stuff off and cash in. There's a tragic side repeating itself.”

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Jezikah Del

    This sounds like an opportunity for organizations, foundations, or individuals who have the resources to design a museum around the find–keeping it together as a coherent collection.

    November 6, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  2. Ed Shott

    Apparently he just unblocked me–that was quick

    November 6, 2013 at 8:40 am | Reply
  3. Ed Shott

    Jerry incorrectly calls this "Nazi Looted Art"--It was found in the possession of Rolf Nikolous Cornelius Gurlitt–son of the late Jewish art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt-who purchased these works from Jewish collectors. No Nazi9s in the provenance. Jerry then went on to propagate the Holocaust myth. I privately messaged Jerry on his Facebook page to alert him of his mistake and he promptly de=friended me. Was CNN aware of Jerry's inacurate reporting of was CNN a co-conspirator in his false reporting?

    November 6, 2013 at 8:35 am | Reply

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