4 November 2013
A collection of 1,500 works of art by famous painters such as Picasso, Matisse and Chagall has been found in the city of Munich, according to German media. The value of the works is thought to be $1.35bn.
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The collection of works the Nazis stole from Jews was consigned to a dealer to be sold before the war. But the paintings then vanished; presumed destroyed.
The works consist of what the Nazis deemed 'degenerate art', that is, modern art. It now transpires that two years ago the authorities discovered this amazing and priceless collection in darkened rooms at the home of a reclusive relative of the pre-war dealer.
It seems the relative had been selling paintings occasionally when he needed money. One work by the German expressionist Max Beckmann was sold two years ago for more than three-quarters of a million Euros ($1m).
The authorities have kept quiet, partly because ownership would be disputed. A mountain of litigation is no doubt on the way.
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given (to someone) to look after
believed to be (although not fully certain)
considered to be
having low morals
becomes known (used when a previously secret fact becomes known)
extremely valuable and unique
living alone and avoiding other people
before the war (here: referring to World War Two)
a style of art which emphasises feelings and emotions
- mountain of litigation
a huge amount of legal work and arguments