artistic treasures by the likes of Picasso and Matisse discovered in 2011, according to reports, and the many artworks are believed to be part of loot stolen by Nazis decades ago.A messy apartment in Munich was the unlikely hiding place for
The magazine Focus first reported the discovery of 1,500 paintings in an apartment belonging to the son of a well-known art collector connected to Nazi leaders, Hildebrand Gurlitt, according to Agence France-Presse. Customs agents searched the residence after the 80-year-old son, Cornelius, tried to travel from Switzerland to Munich with hoards of cash.
Precious paintings by artists such as Henri Mattisse, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and others sat in storage along with garbage, according to AFP, and they were likely there since the 1930s and '40s. Cornelius Gurlitt likely supported himself over the years by selling a carefully chosen artwork here and there, quietly, to avoid media attention, and hoarding the rest of the collection in secret. It's now in a customs warehouse, according to Focus.
[ Related: Nazi memorabilia pulled from eBay ]
The Telegraph reported the masterpieces could be among many art pieces stolen in Nazi Germany, often from their Jewish owners, suggesting that even more than half a century later, there's much more investigating left to do before the rightful owners of such artworks can recover their property.
Sunday marked the beginning of Holocaust Education Week, which was preceded by another big news story involving Holocaust items, such as clothes from prisoners of concentration camps, for sale on eBay.
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