First glimpse of controversial art collection

Photographers and other journalists show keen interest in the Gurlitt collection at Bern Keystone

The Museum of Fine Arts in Bern offered the Swiss media on Friday its first opportunity to look over some of the controversial art in the collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, some of which was looted by Nazis during the Holocaust.

This content was published on July 7, 2017 - 14:20 and agencies, and agencies/jmh

Photographers clicked away and other journalists got to ask some questions at a press conference the museumExternal link held to mark the occasion. Among the selection shown to the news media was artwork by Otto Dix, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Franz Marc, August Macke and Otto Mueller.

The stash of fine art arrived in Bern a week late, due to problems getting past German customs. Most are works on paper representing aspects of symbolism, expressionism, constructivism and New Objectivity. Nearly 200 works of art from the Gurlitt collection have been scheduled to be shown to the public starting on November 2.

Gurlitt, whose father was one of Hitler’s art dealers, bequeathed a collection of 1,500 pieces of art to the Bernese museum in 2014. After a long legal battle, the museum won out over other possible Gurlitt heirs in December 2016. The museum also has been verifying the provenance of the artwork to ensure any plundered pieces are restored to their rightful owners.

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