“So we need to examine each piece individually.” He cautioned against overestimating the value of the collection before it had been thoroughly assessed.
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German authorities are investigating a huge art find reported to include hundreds of works seized by the Nazis and considered missing for decades, officials said Monday, but a Jewish group accused the German government of moral complicity in the concealment of the stolen paintings following the revelation that authorities failed for two years to report their discovery.
The discovery was first reported by Germany’s Focus magazine, which claimed Sunday that a cache of 1,500 works, including pieces by such masters as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Emil Nolde, was found in a Munich apartment in early 2011.
Focus estimated that the works found among stacks of hoarded groceries in the flat of Cornelius Gurlitt, could be worth well over 1 billion euros.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said the government was informed “several months ago” about the case.
Auction houses in Bern, Switzerland and Cologne, which sold some of the art works both said Hildebrand was a known dealer.