Friday, 06. March 2015 - 16:03
31. 03. 14. - 15:00
The trove of artworks stolen by the Nazis and allegedly hoarded away by art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt could be larger than previously thought after Austrian officials confirmed the discovery of a third house in Austria belonging to the family.
Lawyers hired by German officials to represent the interests of Cornelius Gurlitt, the heir to the Hildebrand Gurlitt art hoard estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of Euro, say that he is too ill at 81 to properly manage his affairs.
Removal of his artwork had left him devastated, and he has reportedly withdrawn into his shell in which it is difficult to get any information out of him. The legal team for example had not realised that there was a third house in Austria where his sister had lived, and that this house, which has still not been searched, had been stuffed with art works at least until 2012 when she died and it was visited by Austrian officials to remove her body.
The news will bring fresh hope to families looking to recover items stolen by the Nazi's from earlier generations as many of the artworks found so far in the Munich and Salzburg homes of 81-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt are thought to be pieces looted in the attempt by the Nazi's to rid Europe of so called 'degenerate art'.
Only last week a further 180 paintings were recovered from the Gurlitt estate, that according to authorities were discovered in his small two-bedroom house in Salzburg in the same rooms where around 60 paintings had already been found during a search in February.
These added to the thousands of artworks already hoarded away in his Munich home for decades as he surreptitiously sold them off piece by piece.
The sensational discovery by a journalist working for the Vienna-based TV station Puls 4 that a third house had been used as a storage depot for the Gurlitt family art deepened the mystery surrounding the hoarded art collection.
The house belonged to Wolfgang Gurlitt, a cousin of Hildebrand who was also acquiring artworks on behalf of the Nazi's. With their Jewish ancestry their connection enabled them to obtain artwork at a low price from persecuted families who were forced to sell their possessions as they tried to flee to safer countries.
Situated in the picturesque mountain town of Bad Aussee, in the Austrian province of Styria, an area of strong Nazi loyalists where many officers had holiday homes and where they also chose to hide whilst trying to evade capture by the Allies, the area was an odd place for a person of Jewish descent to voluntarily choose to live.
Aside from the beautiful lakes and mountain top homes belonging to Nazi officers, just around the corner from the Gurlitt's house in Bad Ausee as the Altausee salt mines where the Nazi's stored a vast collection of looted art which was later to become the inspiration for George Clooney's 2013 Monument's Men film.
What access Nazi art collector Wolfgang Gurlitt, or his cousin Hildebrand, would have had to this underground collection of art is not known.
Police And Firemen Get Cold Turkey
Flipping the bird was given a new meaning in Austria this week when a truck filled with plucked turkeys overturned, closing a busy motorway in the process.
Rare Bald Ibis Makes Microlight Flight To Italy
The project to introduce an extinct bird back to Europe is hailing success after successfully negotiating a new route over the Alps and training 14 Northern Bald Ibises how to fly south to winter feeding grounds in southern Tuscany.
Brit Soldier Rescued After Climbing Mountain In T Shirt
A British soldier who tackled the frozen Austrian Alps wearing just shorts and a T-shirt has been rapped by officials after he had to be rescued from the snowy peak.
Jobless Footballers Join Dole Rangers To Showcase Their Talent
Austria's job centres are entering the big league - by creating a football team to allow jobless footballers to showcase their talent and get work.
Good manners guide for Arabs dropped by Salzburg tourism officials
Tourism chiefs in Salzburg have been forced to withdraw a controversial etiquette guide for Arabs that aimed to stop them trying to haggle over prices, cooking in their rooms, and dumping their litter around the region.
Strongman pulls worlds largest twinjet plane out of hanger
A strong man known as the "Austrian Rock" has notched up his 16th endurance world record, this time by pulling a Boeing 777 plane from its hangar at the Vienna International Airport in Schwechat.
Austria receives record visitors from UAE
Austria received a record amount of visitors from the United Arab Emirates in 2013, according to the Austrian National Tourist Office.
Cheetah enclosure rebuilt after run of escapes
After a run of great escapes from the cheetah residents of Salzburg Zoo, the big cat enclosure has been rebuilt in an effort to prevent further breakouts.
Hosting Eurovision 2015 in Austria already complicated
The search for a suitable location for next year's Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Austria is already hitting complications with still 11 months to go until the event.
FIFA extend Taboga ban worldwide
The life time football ban imposed upon player Dominique Taboga by the Austrian Football Association (Ã–FB) in February for match-fixing has been extended by FIFA today to include worldwide activities.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days