This ambitious book reflects on the complex history of the fine art trade during the Second World War, as revealed in the fascinating story of Cornelius Gurlitt’s art collection.
In 2010 eighty-year-old art dealer and scholar Gurlitt was arrested on a train heading back from Switzerland to his home in Munich. He was carrying several thousand Euros, the proceeds – he explained – of the sale of a work of art. The Bavarian authorities became suspicious and searched his flat, where they discovered a vast collection of significant artworks valued at over one billion Euros. It was concluded that many were stolen, looted or illegally owned, and a sensational article in Focus led the world to believe this was an illegal Nazi hoard.
The Gurlitt Affair describes the fate of Gurlitt’s collection as well as examining art dealing in Germany and Switzerland from the 1930s up to the present day, from both a legal and moral standpoint. The book presents the definitive account of one of the most sensational stories to rock the art world and will have broad appeal, relevant for students of art history and full of extraordinary episodes that will enthral a more general readership.